Djej Mechoui (Grilled Chicken with Moroccan Spices)

In Morocco, cooks rub chicken (poussins, about 1 lb. each, are best) with an aromatic paste, like the one in this recipe, before grilling. It’s a simple but wonderful way to add flavor.

Djej Mechoui (Grilled Chicken with Moroccan Spices) Djej Mechoui (Grilled Chicken with Moroccan Spices)
Rubbing the chicken with an aromatic paste before grilling adds a wonderful flavor to this dish.
Yield: serves 4


  • 3 scallions, white ends only, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 12 tsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 pinch hot paprika
  • 1 12 cups ground cumin
  • 14 cup butter, soft
  • 4 poussins or 2 small chickens


  1. Crush the scallions, garlic, cilantro, parsley, salt, sweet paprika, hot paprika, and cumin with a mortar and pestle. Blend in butter.
  2. Wash poussins or chickens; split them down the back and flatten; dry well; and rub inside and out with butter paste. Let stand at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat grill, then cook chicken skin side up. Turn after 2 minutes and baste with any extra paste. Continue to turn and baste until skin is crisp and flesh is firm.