Ethiopian Chicken with Preserved Lemon Relish


From Mark Bitterman’s Field Guide to Bitters and Amari: 500 Bitters; 50 Amari; 123 Recipes for Cocktails, Food and Homemade Bitters (Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2015)
Used with permission from the publisher.  Read our review by Kristina Sepetys.
Makes 4 servings

You shoot a bird. You light a fire. You muster some African spices. You grab some salty-bittertart preserved lemons. Simple things unite, and your encampment is redolent with roasted spice and meat. Douse a bite with cardamom bitters. Now you stare up. The black night sky, buckshot with diamonds.

1½ tablespoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 (4-pound) chicken, spatchcocked*
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon cardamom bitters
1 tablespoon lemon juice

Makes ½ cup
1 preserved lemon, finely chopped
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley and/or cilantro
½ garlic clove, minced
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 dashes cardamom bitters
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

For the chicken, mix all of the spices into a rub; set aside. Preheat a grill for direct medium heat, 350 to 400°. Rub the chicken all over with half the oil and all of the rub, concentrating on the skinless side. Brush and oil the grill grate and place the chicken skin-side down on the grate. Grill for about 15 minutes and then turn with a spatula or tongs. Grill for another 15 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a thigh registers 170°.

While the chicken is grilling, mix the remaining 1½ tablespoons oil, the bitters, and lemon juice together; set aside. Prepare the preserved lemon relish by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl. Cut the chicken into serving pieces and drizzle with the olive oil–bitters mixture. Serve with the lemon relish.

*Editor’s note: Directions for spatchcocking (splitting the chicken open and grilling it flat) are easy to find online.