Banana leaves offer an amazing and stunning way to grill food. As a girl, I lived in Hawaii and experienced the beauty and ease of banana leaf cooking for the first time. I created this recipe to combine my love of the banana leaf with my mom's North African style of cooking at home.
In a large bowl, mix together the crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, olives, cardamon, garlic, carrots, bell pepper, onion, 1 tablespoon of the granulated garlic, 1/4 teaspoon of the cayenne and 1 teaspoon salt. Add to a cast-iron pan and put on the grill over direct heat. Bring to a rapid boil, close the lid and boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
Toss the chicken pieces in a bowl with the olive oil, then add the ras el hanout, cumin, cinnamon, remaining 1 tablespoon granulated garlic, remaining 1/4 teaspoon cayenne and 1 teaspoon salt and mix until uniformly covered.
Arrange the banana leaves on a baking sheet. Place 2 to 3 pieces of chicken on each leaf. With a slotted spoon or fork, cover the chicken with the sauce. Sprinkle a teaspoon each of the lemon zest and cilantro on top of each portion. Fold each banana leaf like an envelope and secure with cook’s twine or toothpicks.
Place the baking sheet with the banana envelopes on the grill over direct heat and cook until the chicken is cooked through but still juicy, 30 to 35 minutes. Serve immediately.