I Feel Like Chicken Tonight

Benghazi is like a different city compared with the one I visited in March. It still has its problems – mounds of rubbish are accumulating at the roadside and working traffic lights are scarce – but security is less of a problem. Then, residents said they feared driving around at night. I watched from my hotel window as two cars forced another to stop, before dragging the occupants on to the Tarmac. Suspected Gaddafi sympathisers were subject to mob justice.

Now things feel safer. There are fewer guns on the street (although that’s not saying much) and the hotel guards are less jittery. All of the shops are open and the street-side roast houses are functioning again.

My favourite treat is to wander round the corner for barbecued chicken, cooked over the hot embers of a wood fire. This being Ramadan, the fire isn’t lit until about 9ish. And the chickens only go on the skewers about 30 minutes later, once the burning logs have been raked out. The chicken isn’t ready until at least 10pm, but it’s worth the wait.

Juicy and succulent meat inside the most perfectly crispy skin, all served with sticky rice and a green salad.


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