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Mar 23, 2007 01:51 PM

Chicken w/preserved lemon - cheater's version

I made some preserved Meyer lemons a couple of months ago, and one Sunday I was going to make the braised chicken with preserved lemons and olives from "All About Braising." But one thing and other happened, and before I knew it, there was only about an hour left before dinner time. So I fell back on an old shortcut recipe, and did the following: I thinly sliced a couple of onions and laid them on the bottom of a skillet (no oil), and added a couple of chopped garlic cloves. I laid my chicken (thighs with legs attached)on top of this, skin side down, sprinkled with salt and pepper. I topped this with a finely diced preserved lemon and a handful of chopped picholine olives and a little tarragon, turned up the heat, and covered the skillet. After I could hear it sizzling I turned down the heat to medium-low and let it go for an hour. Voila -- it makes its own sauce (of course it's yummy, it's nearly all fat!), and served it over rice. It was so good I made it again recently.

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  1. This sounds so good! It's just the kick-in-the-pants I need to start some preserved lemons. Thanks for posting your recipe!

    Speaking of preserved lemons, which method did you use - just salt, or salt and lemon juice?


    2 Replies
    1. re: AnneInMpls

      I'm not kittyfood, but I'll chime in anyway. I preserve mine with just salt. Quarter slice 2 lemons (without actually slicing them all the way through), pack the slice with kosher salt and squish them into a small sterilized jar. Let sit for at least a month, turning (or shaking) every other day or so, and making sure they remain covered with juice. I've never needed to add extra lemon juice, but I suppose if your lemons don't give out enough to cover, you'd have to do that.

      1. re: AnneInMpls

        Sorry I didn't answer sooner -- These Meyers were off my own tree. I salted and froze them overnight, then refrigerated for a few days, then washed, patted them dry and covered with olive oil. After a few weeks they were perfect.

        I used a little bit, chopped, in a mushroom risotto the other day, and it was lovely.

      2. I don't preserve my own lemons, since Citrons Beldi are readily available at Paris supermarkets - unlike Meyer lemons. But I do make a chicken recipe that is nearly identical, although seasoned with mace and turmeric (mostly mace). Everybody loooves it. I got the recipe from the Proche-Orient Info website.
        I have also become quite fond of a lamb tadjine cooked with preserved lemons, eggplant, chickpeas, quatre-épices, and other such delights.
        I figure lemons are so tough, they probably don't bother to spray them when they grow them for pickling. It's a comforting idea, anyway.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Amanita

          "I figure lemons are so tough, they probably don't bother to spray them when they grow them for pickling. It's a comforting idea, anyway."

          That may or may not be true in France, but it's most certainly not the case in the US. Unless your lemons are homegrown or, if bought, organic, or otherwise guaranteed grown without pesticides, I would make no assumptions.

          At any rate, preserved lemons are so easy to make, and usually so expensive to buy in the US (unless you have a local market that makes their own and sells them) that I generally make my own. While this does mean you can't spontaneously make a tagine or other dish if you don't have them on hand, once you make them, they keep a long time in the fridge, and you can. The recipe I use, Paula Wolfort's Seven-Day Preserved Lemons doesn't take a month to cure, either (though I do usually leave them longer than a week before I use them):

          1. re: Amanita

            Amanita - Please give us a link to the Proche-Orient recipe. Thanx.

            1. re: KRS

              Found it! The site is gone from the Web, but I printed out the recipe long ago:
              1 Large chicken (or four or five pairs of legs)
              3 preserved lemons
              3-4 cloves of garlic
              2-3 chopped onions
              1/4 cup oil
              1 cup water
              1/4 tsp mace
              1/4 tsp saffron or turmeric
              1/2 tsp white pepper
              1/4 tsp salt

              Marinate the chicken in a mixture of the oil and spices. Sauté the garlic and onions in the pan (Dutch-oven type), with a little oil.
              Ack! There the recipe ends! I ripped off the bottom half of the page! Anyway, you sauté the chicken, add the lemons, sliced, and water, and simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes.

              Sorry to get back to you so late and so partially, but I hope you're a Chowhound addict.

          2. Thank you for this suggestion. Your "shortcut recipe" compelled me to preserve some lemons and then make the chicken dish. As you say, it was yummy, a real keeper. Thank you very much.

            PS: I did put a thin film of duck fat on the bottom of the Dutch oven, figuring duck fat never led anyone astray.

            1. Anyone ever make preserved Limes??
              I have a super good line on limes right now and as much as I love them I can't have 2 lbs hanging around!