Prep 30 mins
Cook 45 mins
Lemons preserved in salt and lemon juice are a common ingredient in many classic Moroccan dishes. Preserving them in this fashion captures their essence and enlivens this intricately spiced chicken braise. Green olives add further color and interest to a dish that would make a wonderful centerpiece to any Moroccan meal. The warm hues and complex flavors make this standout dish perfect for any occasion. Note that the preserved lemons need to be made a week in advance. That time is not included in the preparation time From the Take-Out Menu Cookbook.
- 8 pieces preserved lemons (see related recipe)
- 1 whole chicken, quartered
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sweet Hungarian paprika
- 1⁄4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 pinch saffron
- 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 16 green olives, pitted and halved
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
- Prepare the preserved lemons as directed in the recipe.
- Pat the chicken dry, then season with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 12-inch saute pan set over moderately high heat. Saute the chicken until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate and keep warm, covered.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and reduce the heat to medium. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ginger, paprika, turmeric, saffron, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook for 1 minute, stirring.
- Add the chicken and stock to the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 40 minutes, or until the chicken is tender.
- Scrape the pulp from the preserved lemons, and discard or reserve for another use. Cut the lemon rind into slivers and add to the chicken, along with the olives.
- Cook for 5 minutes, uncovered.
- Transfer the chicken to a serving dish and spoon the olives and lemons around them. Add the lemon juice, taste for seasoning, and add more salt if necessary.
- Pour the sauce over the chicken. Sprinkle with the parsley and cilantro and serve.
- Make ahead: This dish can be made up to 2 days ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator. Reheat on the stove over low heat until warmed through.