Chicken Mechoui

2 (2-pound) broiler-fryers, whole, split or quartered
3 scallions, white parts only, chopped
1 garlic clove (optional)
2 tablespoons roughly chopped, fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons roughly chopped, fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons sweet paprika
Pinch of cayenne
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin, preferably Moroccan
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

Rinse the chicken and pat dry; trim away excess fat. Slide your fingers under skin to loosen it from flesh.

Pound the scallions with the garlic, herbs, salt and spices in a mortar. Blend in the butter to make a paste (or use a food processor). Rub paste under and over chicken skin (and into cavities if left whole). Arrange in a roasting pan and let marinate for at least 1 hour.

Heat an outdoor grill or heat broiler. Arrange pieces of chicken skin-side up over coals or skin-side down on a broiler pan under broiler. After 5 minutes, turn and baste with any extra paste or juices in broiler pan. Continue turning and basting every 5 minutes until chickens are done; timing will depend on heat of coals. Makes 4 servings.

— Recipe adapted by McClatchy News Service from "The Food of Morocco," by Paula Wolfert (Harper Collins, $45).

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