And now for the reason I preserved the lemons: My sister has been talking for awhile now about the Moroccan Chicken she and my brother-in-law make with preserved lemons. This is from a recipe originally posted in the New York Times. I tried it out for my friend Barb’s birthday dinner, and it’s just superb, tender and aromatically spiced. I used a Dutch oven instead of a tagine, which worked wonders. You can leave out the olives if you’re not a fan. Serve with Israeli couscous or seasoned pilaf.
- 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon saffron threads, pulverized
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 chicken, cut in 8 pieces (I used 8 bone in thighs)
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 medium onions, sliced thin
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 8 calamata olives, pitted and halved
- 8 cracked green olives, pitted and halved
- 1 large or 3 small preserved lemons(sold in specialty food shops)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley (I used cilantro)
- Mix garlic, saffron, ginger, paprika, cumin and turmeric together. If not using kosher chicken, add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add pepper to taste. Rub chicken with mixture, cover, refrigerate and marinate 3 to 4 hours.
- Heat oil in heavy skillet or Dutch oven. Add chicken, and brown on all sides. Remove to platter. Add onions to skillet, and cook over medium-low heat about 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer to tagine, if you are using one, or leave in skillet. Add cinnamon stick.
- Put chicken on onions. Scatter with olives. Quarter the lemons, remove pulp and cut skin in strips. Scatter over chicken. Mix stock and lemon juice. Pour over chicken.
- Cover tagine or skillet. Place over low heat, and cook about 30 minutes, until chicken is done. Scatter parsley or cilantro on top, and serve.