Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemons and Olives

Moroccan Dinner_A Little Yumminess

Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemons and Olives

Preserved Lemons by A Little Yumminess

This is one of those recipes that upon eating it, I wanted to jump right in and make it again for dinner the next night and the next night after that. It’s really just a simple, braised chicken dish, but the combination of spices and flavors makes it really, really special: ginger, saffron, cumin, preserved lemon, green olive. If you ask me, preserved lemons are one of those magical ingredients that add a complex depth when you want a bit of saltiness and tang and having some on hand is a great ace in the hole anytime you’re faced with a drab dish that needs a little “something extra”.  Having tried my hand at preserving lemons with Simran, I can report back that they are really easy to make. If you can sprinkle salt and squeeze a lemon, you too can be an artisan preserved lemon maker — although you will also need a bit of patience because they take 3-4 weeks to pickle.

Another thing that was cool about this recipe was the technique of using grated onion in the braising liquid, a totally new one for me. Grating the onions allows them to melt beautifully into the sauce, giving the sauce some body without chunkiness. Not only is this lovely on the palette, it’s a bonus for kids who don’t “things” floating around in their sauce :). My little guy loved, loved, loved this dish and took particular delight in stealing all the green olives, so I will be sure to add more next time!

Chicken with Preserved Lemon and Olives

adapted from The Food of Morocco by Paula Wolfert

  • 1 -2 pounds of bone-in chicken pieces
  • 1 large onion, grated
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 Tablespoons saffron water (pinch of saffron soaked in 2 tablespoons of hot water for 5-10 minutes)
  • 1 cup pitted green olives
  • 1/2  preserved lemon, cut into wedges
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro or flat leaf parsley (or a combination of both)

Spice Mixture:

  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  1. Make the spice mixture and rub under and over the skin of the chicken. Marinate overnight in a covered container.
  2. Add chicken to a large pot or skillet and top with grated onion, turmeric, saffron water, and 1/2 cup water.
  3. Cover and simmer on medium heat for 30 minutes, turning chicken occasionally in the sauce.
  4. Add water if needed, and continue to cook uncovered for an additional 20 minutes over medium heat until the chicken is tender and beginning to fall off the bone.
  5. Remove chicken to a broiler safe baking dish and set aside. Then add the preserved lemon and olives to the sauce.  Taste and correct the seasoning as needed and keep sauce warm on the stove.
  6. Heat the broiler and broil chicken skin side up until browned (5-10 minutes).
  7. Arrange chicken on a platter and pour sauce over. Garnish with parsley/cilantro.

You might also like: Bar Jules Lamb with Preserved Lemons

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Sunday Stew: Jamie Oliver’s Braised Pork and Pepper Goulash

Feeding our new bambino late one night gave me a chance to catch up on a few cooking shows. This goulash recipe from Jamie Oliver at Home (the “Peppers” episode) “had me at hello”. Slow-braised pork shoulder and peppers? Sign me up! While it takes a few hours to cook, the hands on time is pretty minimal. I wasn’t sure if Luca was going to go for the whole peppers thing so I told him it was carnitas and he ate it right up. This is a great one for a lazy sunday dinner with family and friends since you can feed a crowd with very little effort on an inexpensive cut of meat. Leftovers would make a fantastic sauce for pasta and, of course, we couldn’t resist some “goulash/carnitas” tacos for lunch the next day.

Jamie Oliver’s Spicy Pork Goulash (my cliff notes version below, get the original recipe from Jamie’s site here.)

I knew Simran and I were kindred spirits — when I told her that I was making this, she said she had been salivating over this recipe for quite some time.  Since not everyone in her family eats pork, I think you could substitute chicken pieces (reducing the simmer time from 3 hours to 1) with similarly delicious results. Despite the word “spicy” being in the title, if you like the heat like Simran you’ll want to add some chili flakes.

  • Boneless Pork Shoulder
  • 2-3 Red Yellow or Orange Peppers
  • 1 Onion
  • Jarred Marinated Sweet Peppers
  • Can of Tomatoes (diced or squish up whole tomatoes)
  • Paprika
  • Caraway Seeds
  • Sour Cream
  • Lemon
  • Parsley
  1. Season a piece of bonelss pork shoulder with salt and pepper and sear well on all sides in a very hot pan (start with the fat side). Set the meat aside and drain off the rendered fat.
  2. Add 1 finely diced onion, the leaves from a sprig or oregano or marjoram, two heaping Tablespoons of paprika, and a teaspoon of caraway seeds crushed in a mortar and pestle. Let the onion soften for a few minutes.
  3. Add 2 or 3 thinly sliced red, orange or yellow bell peppers (no green ones!);  a cup or more of jarred, marinated sweet peppers; a couple of Tablespoons of red wine vinegar; and a can of tomatoes.
  4. Add the meat back into the pot and add water as needed to nearly cover the meat. Cover and place in a 350 degree oven for three hours. The meat will be fork tender when it’s done.
  5. Remove the meat from the pot, skim off any fat that has risen to the top and taste the sauce for seasoning. Serve everything together with a dallop of sour cream flavored with lemon zest and parsley.

This one is seriously good —  awesome recipe, Jamie!