Variations on a Moroccan-Inspired Marinade

Recipes are often mere springboards when faced with limited or minimal ingredients in the kitchen. With any luck, new dishes can be created that might even be better than the original. I’ve come across a new version from an original by Australian celebrity chef Curtis Stone via a friend and avid cook, Keith Talent. It’s an easy marinade that takes inspiration from Morocco with cumin, turmeric, lemon and saffron. I’ve eliminated many steps from the original: the dates, green olives and almonds, and I have yet to serve the dish on couscous. I may in the future, but as it stands I can’t resist this recipe’s fast and easy steps to a delicious meal. (To keep it authentic, you might want to present the finished dish in a tagine, but it’s certainly not necessary).
It’s a simple marinade that works perfectly with chicken legs or thighs, or pork shoulder for that matter, cut into serviceable chunks.
Here we go: in a mortar and pestle, crush a couple of inches of ginger, a handful of cilantro, a couple of cloves of garlic with salt. Once a paste is achieved, add a cup of water, the juice of one lemon, a couple of spoons of crushed cumin and turmeric, some saffron, red pepper flakes and a few good turns of freshly cracked pepper.

Choose your protein, and marinate for as long as you’ve got time for. I usually try and marinate the meat around noon to be ready for the dinner hour, but have even made this a couple of hours before cooking time with great success.

Remove the meat from the marinade and fry, bake or grill. If frying or baking, add the leftover marinade once the meat has some colour, add in a couple of cinnamon sticks and chopped carrots for a little extra something (completely optional). If grilling, slather the marinade on at regular intervals.

Serve. Delicious!

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