Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Moroccan lemon chicken

One of my favourite things to eat in winter is actually something I haven't made for a while - Moroccan Lemon Chicken. Do you have favourite recipes that you have some how forgotten about?  And then enthusiastically resumed making?

So the other night when I had few pickings other than  another basket full of lemons, I  remembered this old friend of a recipe. I can honestly say that this is one of my favourites... its lemony, garlicky, peppery and olivey -  4 of my favourite flavours.

Here is the recipe. It comes from, The Vegetable Market Cookbook: Classic recipes from around the world by Robert Budwig. It was a gift from a favourite aunt and it has fabulous recipes inspired by the produce from vegetable markets in Thailand, Morocco, Italy, France, India, Mexico and Guatamala. Being a fancier of markets it was the perfect gift.

Aside from the great recipes, the book is filled with coloured pencil drawings by the author from those markets or of the dishes he makes.

In this book the recipe is called, Chicken with olives and lemons, but it just gets called Moroccan Lemon Chicken in our house. This is my version below but I must say that it is pretty close to the original -  just a few changes here and there.

Moroccan Lemon Chicken ( *from the patch)

olive oil
6 cloves of garlic (oh yeh!)
1 cup chopped coriander leaves
1 tblsp cracked black pepper - I crack it in the mortar
1/4 tsp saffron threads
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp sweet paprika

3 'Maryland' chicken pieces cut at the joint making 6 pieces of chicken
olive oil
2 medium-sized onions finely chopped
1 x 400 ml can of tinned tomatoes
1 cup water
picholine olives with the pip still in
2 preserved lemons*
juice of 1 lemon*

In a bowl mix marinade ingredients, prick chicken with a knife and rub in the marinade. Cover and let sit for at least 4 hours.

Heat oil and fry chicken pieces until sealed, remove from heat. Add onions and  tomatoes and cook on a bit then add chicken and water and cook for 30 mins, turning the chicken to get it in the juices.

Cut preserved lemon skin into small pieces. Add lemon and juice and olives to the pan and cook for a further 15 mins or until the chicken is very tender and the sauce has thickened to your liking.

Serve with couscous or I really like it with smoked rice.

I haven't taken a photo.  My photos of food invariably look horrible.  I will leave you with your own image in your head, the scent of black pepper, lemon and coriander.


  1. It's so funny you just posted about remaking forgotten favourite recipes, as tonight for dinner I made one of my favourites which I haven't made in AGES which is spiced cauliflower fritters. I have it with raw spinach leaves and a raita of some variety (today it was radish) and it was just as good as I remember. I even took photos so I may just have to do a copy-cat blog on these lines.

    1. Oh funny. I guess that's what we tap into - those things that happen to us all. Perhaps that's why blogging works? I love the sound of cauli fritters. And PLEASE feel free to blog on the same topic. It's not copy-cat it's collective experiences.

  2. Thank you for posting this recipe! You are a woman of your word. It sounds delicious and I will absolutely be trying it out (though I need to make up some more preserved lemon and let it mature). There is NOTHING in there that I don't love so I'm really looking forward to trying it.

    1. Oh my pleasure. It is pretty yummy, but making it this time has made me realise I need to use some of my lemon stash to make more preserved lemons. Try and enjoy and don't be afraid to use all that pepper and all that garlic!

  3. That looks fabulous! Now I'm going to have to beg some friends of mine for some of their home-preserved lemons.

    1. Oh thanks, I need to make more preserved lemons now, nearly out.

  4. Perfect !!! i made my first batch of preserved lemons just recently so when their ready(couple of weeks) i will give this a go. It has all my favorite ingredients too especially the garlic and ginger !

  5. Excellent! It seems it's preserved lemon making time!

  6. You can't just throw in a reference to something as intersting sounding as smoked rice and then not elaborate - its just not fair! Incidentally how long do you keep preserved lemons for? i found a rather dated jar in the back of my cupboard the other day.

    1. Yum, smoked rice... I found a little (and expensive) bag of smoked rice in a posh grocers I go to. it has lovely exotic things.... It is a slightly brown-coloured very long grain thin rice that is delicious. When you steam it it really separates and so there is a real textural aspect to this grain as well as the heavenly smoked rice flavour. I will try to look at the brand next time I am in at that shop and let you know.

      And on preserved lemons,I guess it depends a little on the recipe? I have had some ancient ones in the back of the cupboard too and they are wonderful The flavours have really intensified. I'd open the jar and see if they still smell great and aren't bubbling... and then if all ok I'd use them.

    2. I keep my preserved lemon in the fridge, once they have 'matured' for a few weeks. Just in case.



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