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Morroccan chicken with preserved lemons

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I made some preserved lemons, and now am looking for a good recipe for that famous Morroccan dish. I don't find anything on Chow. Anyone have a favorite? I remember making it from a Time Life recipe (Foods of the World) many years ago, but can't find it now. Thanks, Dee

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  1. I have a really good one, from a Paris restaurant, that was published in a magazine. Very flavorful, lots of herbs and spices. It marinates overnight, then is cooked in the oven. Let me know if you are interested, and I can post a paraphrase.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Caitlin McGrath

      Caitlin, I'd love that recipe if you have a chance. I've been meaning to find a recipe and make the dish, but haven't gotten around to it. The Whole Foods in the area often carry preserved lemons, so to start I think I'll be lazy and use theirs.

        1. re: MazDee

          Not surprisingly, this dish has the same name as the one Nyleve posted below - but includes less labor. It was in the May 2001 Paris issue of Bon Appétit, but is not on epicurious.com. Two notes: It calls for sliced lemons, but there was a note at the head that the restaurant (of course) uses preserved; just use an equivalent amount, volume-wise of chopped preserved lemon rinds. Also, it calls for a quartered chicken, but I use parts and remove the skin first, since it isn't browned (plus better to flavor the meat). Oh, and I just mix it all up and marinate in the nonreactive Dutch oven I use to cook it.

          Chicken Tagine with Lemon and Olives (4 servings)

          Finely chop in food processor:

          16 peeled garlic cloves
          3/4 cup chopped cilantro (coriander leaves)
          3/4 cup chopped Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

          Combine in large bowl with:

          2 cups chopped onions
          1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
          1/2 cup olive oil
          2 T paprika
          4 tsp grated lemon zest
          2 tsp ground cumin
          1 1/2 tsp salt
          1/2 tsp ground black pepper
          1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
          1/4 tsp saffron threads

          Mix well and add and toss:

          1 3 1/2-lb. chicken, quartered (backbone removed)
          3/4 cup pitted, oil-cured black olives
          1 1/2 lemons, thinly sliced

          Cover and chill at least 2 hours and up to 1 day. Preheat oven to 450 F. Put chicken and seasonings in a large, oven-proof pot. Add 1 1/2 cups water, cover, and bake 1 hour or until chicken is cooked through.

          1. re: Caitlin McGrath

            Thanks so much, Caitlin. It sounds fabulous, as does Nyleve's recipe. I can't wait to make it.

            1. re: Caitlin McGrath

              I can't promise mine is as good as this one, but I've made a very similar rendition often, and it's one of my favorite company dishes. However, it's also extremely good with green olives -- if not better.

        2. Here's my favourite version of this dish. It was in the NY Times several years ago and I've since made it more times than I can count. It's absolutely delicious.

          Chicken Tagine with Lemon and Olives (Djej M’Chermel)

          1 chicken (3 to 4 lbs.) or equivalent amount of pieces (I use thighs)
          1/4 cup butter or olive oil
          2 onions, chopped
          2 cloves garlic, minced
          2 tsp. paprika
          1 tsp. ground ginger
          1/2 tsp. ground cumin
          1/4 tsp. saffron, crushed (or turmeric)
          4 tbsp. cilantro, chopped
          4 tbsp. flat-leafed parsley, chopped
          1 tsp. salt
          1/2 tsp. black pepper
          1/4 cup olive oil
          1-1/2 cups water
          1 preserved lemon (pulp discarded, peel cut into long narrow strips)
          1 cup green olives, pitted
          juice of 2 lemons

          In a large saucepan or deep skillet, brown the chicken pieces in the 1/4 cup olive oil over medium-high heat, skin side down, until the skin is golden brown. Lower the heat to medium-low and add the onion, garlic, paprika, ginger, cumin, saffron, cilantro, parsley, salt, pepper and additional 1/4 cup olive oil. Cook, stirring gently, for a few minutes then add the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until almost tender. Turn the chicken from time to time as it cooks.

          Add the preserved lemon peel, olives and lemon juice and continue to cook until the chicken is very tender – another 15 to 20 minutes.

          Serve immediately, accompanied by hot couscous. If the sauce seems too thin, you can remove the chicken to a serving platter (keep warm), increase the heat to high and cook the sauce, stirring, until it is reduced. Spoon the sauce over the chicken before serving.

          Makes about 4 servings.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Nyleve

            Oh, yum. Thanks. If Caitlin posts her recipe, then I will have a problem, but usually 2 recipes is even better than one! Dee