The North African spice rub in this recipe is based on ras el hanout, a traditional blend of spices used in grilling, roasting, and stewing. A batch of this mixture will keep for months; it pairs well with meat and fish, too.
Make the rosemary oil:
In a medium saucepan, combine the garlic, pepper, chile flakes, rosemary, bay leaf, and oil. Heat on low until the oil just barely comes to a simmer and the garlic bubbles and floats to the surface, about 5 minutes. Immediately turn off the heat and allow the oil to infuse for 1 hour. When cool, strain the oil through a fine sieve. The oil should be used the same day; or you can store it in the refrigerator for a maximum of three days.
Make the spice rub:
In a bowl, thoroughly blend all 12 spices; set aside.
Make the brochettes:
Cut the chicken into equal chunks, each about 2-1/2 inches. Put the chicken on a plate; sprinkle with enough of the spice rub to lightly coat, about 3 Tbs. (Store the rest of the spice rub in an airtight container.) Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken and toss lightly.
Thread the chicken onto skewers, folding when necessary to get round, even chunks, each a little bigger than a ping-pong ball. The chicken can be grilled immediately or held in the refrigerator for up to 1 hour.
Heat your grill to medium. Grill the brochettes for 4 minutes on one side, keeping the exposed skewer ends away from the hottest part of the fire if you’re using bamboo. Turn and cook until the chicken is browned and firm, about another 4 minutes. Remove the brochettes from the grill and drizzle with some of the rosemary oil. Serve with the oil, lemon wedges, and a bowl of kosher salt for extra seasoning.
Serve with couscous and grilled eggplant drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
nutrition information (per serving):
Photo: Mark Ferri