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Chicken with Preserved Lemons, Olives, and Spices - cjs - 01-13-2010

Chicken with Preserved Lemons, Olives, and Spices
Issue #32, page 25

Combine & marinate:
3 lbs. chicken thighs and legs
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey
2 T. lemon juice
1 T. sweet paprika
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. turmeric
6 cloves garlic, chopped

Layer; sweat:
2 cups each:
Carrots, thinly sliced
Yellow onions, diced
Roma tomatoes, diced
1 tsp. whole cumin seed
1 cinnamon stick

Add & simmer: Chicken and marinade and Salt & pepper to taste

Scatter chicken with:
12 Kalamata olives, pitted
1 preserved lemon, pulp removed and rid thinly sliced (see note)

Add, if necessary: Up to 1 cup water

Cook: Couscous Dumplings (see recipe)

Garnish with:
1 preserved lemon, pulp removed and rind thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Combine chicken with oil, honey, lemon juice, spices, and garlic in a resealable plastic bag. Chill and marinate at least one hour or overnight.

Layer vegetables in a large sauté pan then sprinkle with cumin seed and cinnamon stick. Cover and sweat over medium-low heat until juices are released; 25 minutes (do not brown).

Add chicken and its marinade; season with salt & pepper. Replace lid slightly askew (so steam can escape) and simmer 45 minutes. Flip chicken pieces over and lightly season again with salt & pepper. Replace lid (still askew) and cook until chicken is very tender; 45 more minutes.

Meanwhile, pit olives then slice preserved lemons as described on page 26; set aside (see note below). Prepare dumpling batter and set aside.

Scatter the olives and half of the sliced lemons over the chicken; simmer, uncovered, 5-8 minutes. Transfer chicken to a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.

Add up to 1 cup of water if necessary for the dumplings to simmer. Cook dumplings as on page 27 (see recipe). Garnish chicken and dumplings with preserved lemon rind and cilantro.

Note: Preparing the lemons –
To prepare the preserved lemons, rinse them in warm water to remove oil and salt. Slice into quarters, scrape out the pulp with the back of a paring knife, then discard the pulp (it’s very salty). Now thinly slice the rind into strips.


Couscous Dumplings
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup dry instant couscous
1 T. sugar
2 tsps. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ground ginger

Cut in:
2 T. cold unsalted butter – cubed

Whisk together, stir in:
1 1/3 cup milk
1 egg

Drop Batter into Sauce – Cover and steam

Mix together the flour, couscous, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and ginger in a medium size bowl.

Cut in the butter with 2 knives or a pastry blender. Whisk together the egg and milk and add to the dry ingredients. Transfer chicken to a plate; cover. Add water to sauce.

Drop batter into barely simmering sauce using a small scoop or by tablespoonfuls.

Cover and steam dumplings for about 8 minutes. Don’t peek too often, but monitor the heat so sauce doesn’t boil too vigorously.

Re: Chicken with Preserved Lemons, Olives, and Spices - labradors - 01-13-2010

THANK YOU! Moroccan is one of my favourite cuisines, and this sounds wonderful!

That cinches it: I've been meaning to make some preserved lemons, but just haven't done so. I'm buying some on Friday (to get the better and less-expensive ones at the farmer's market) to get the process started. Of course, that means it will be a while before they'll be ready for use in this recipe, but... "'The time has come,' the Walrus said..."

Re: Chicken with Preserved Lemons, Olives, and Spices - farnfam - 01-13-2010

Rob, if you are interested, one of C@H issues has a quickie preserved lemon recipe/tip that you make same day. So you can try the recipe whilst you wait on your longer process preserved lemons. I've done both and like them both. If you want, I can find it for you

Re: Chicken with Preserved Lemons, Olives, and Spices - Dismc - 01-13-2010

How timely this is. Pat brought home 3 lemons yesterday from work and I asked if he could get more. Said the office was overflowing with fresh picked lemons as everyone's trees are in fruit now. I (thinking of juice for lemon drops) asked him to bring home as many as he was able. Now I have another purpose and can't wait to try this recipe with my lemon drops..haha

Re: Chicken with Preserved Lemons, Olives, and Spices - labradors - 01-13-2010

Thanks, Cis, but don't worry about it. I've got other things to do (and to make), anyway, so the longer process won't be a problem. As much as I like Moroccan cooking, I really SHOULD have some preserved lemons around. Also, now that one grocery store FINALLY has unsalted butter (though much more expensive, but a good-quality brand), I need to make some ghee/smen for Moroccan, Indian and Ethiopian dishes.

Re: Chicken with Preserved Lemons, Olives, and Spices - jend - 01-14-2010

Thank you for posting this. I was so excited to see your Couscous Dumplings. Moroccan Chicken is one of my favorite dishes. I purchased a Meyer Lemon tree just so I can always have preserved lemons! I'm going to do this recipe this weekend. My default recipe is the one from Fine Cooking.

Moroccan Chicken with Olives & Preserved Lemons

1 medium onion, finely diced (to yield about 1 cup)
About 10 sprigs fresh cilantro, leaves and stems finely chopped; more chopped leaves for garnish
Small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley (about 8 sprigs), leaves and stems finely chopped
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Small pinch saffron (about 10 threads), crushed
1/4 cup olive oil
3-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces (8-9 pieces of chicken thighs, or half Costco pkg)
1 preserved lemon, most of the pulp removed; the rind cut into thin strips
1 cup red-brown unpitted olives, such as Gaetas

In a large bowl, mix the onion, herbs, and spices; this mixture is called a charmoula. In a deep skillet or a Dutch oven, heat the oil on medium-high heat. Cook the chicken in two batches until browned on all sides (skin side last is best), about 3 minutes per side, transferring the pieces to the bowl with the charmoula as they’re done. Pour off and discard most of the oil in the pan, leaving a film on the bottom. Toss the chicken to coat it with the charmoula. Pour 1/4 cup water into the pan over medium heat and scrape up any browned bits to help them dissolve. Remove the pan from the heat, add the chicken so it’s in a single layer (a little overlap is fine). Scrape out the bowl of charmoula, adding the contents to the pan. Add 3/4 cup water and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the preserved lemon strips and olives to the sauce. Cover and simmer, turning the chicken occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through and very tender and the onion and herbs have melted into the sauce, 10 to 15 minutes. If it’s not yet saucy but the liquid is evaporating, add more water and continue cooking for another 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter. Simmer the sauce uncovered so it has some body, about 3 minutes. Spoon the sauce over the chicken and sprinkle with chopped cilantro leaves.

Re: Chicken with Preserved Lemons, Olives, and Spices - jend - 01-14-2010

I don't know if this is the Cuisine At Home recipe, but this is the one I use even when I have lots of time. I make multiples of the recipe.

Seven-Day Preserved Lemons

2 ripe lemons
1/3 cup coarse (kosher) salt
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
Olive Oil

Scrub the lemons and dry well. Blanch lemons in boiling water for 4 minutes. Cut each into 8 wedges. Toss them with the salt and place in a 1/2-pint glass jar with a glass or plastic-coated lid. Pour in the lemon juice. Close the jar tightly and let the lemons ripen at room temperature for 7 days, shaking the jar each day to distribute the salt and juice. To store, add olive oil to cover and refrigerate for up to 6 months.

I find that Meyer lemons work better than the thick-skinned ones.

Re: Chicken with Preserved Lemons, Olives, and Spices - cjs - 01-14-2010

good sounding dish, Jen - thanks.

Re: Chicken with Preserved Lemons, Olives, and Spices - Gourmet_Mom - 02-24-2016

Bump for Jean.

Re: Chicken with Preserved Lemons, Olives, and Spices - cjs - 02-24-2016

My little pint of lemons is not going to go far.... guess I'd better get my butt in gear.