Don't make this dish without
preserved lemon (see recipe
below) or you will have a good but ordinary result.
With the preserved lemon, you will be transported by the authentic Moroccan
flavors and heavenly aromas of this dish.
2 pounds chicken parts, dark and
white meat, or all dark
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup green pitted olives,
1/4 tsp. turmeric
Pinch of saffron
1 cup water
1/4 of a preserved
lemon, skin only,
rinsed and chopped very fine
2 tbsp. chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 1/2 tbsp. chopped cilantro
Freshly ground pepper
Place chicken, onions, ginger,
olives, turmeric, saffron and water in a heavy pot and bring to a boil. Reduce
heat to medium-high and cook covered for 1 hour. Add lemon, parsley, cilantro,
and pepper to taste, and cook for another 10 minutes.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the
chicken to a platter and check the cooking liquid. If it is too thin, cook it
over high heat until it is reduced and thickened. Pour the sauce over the
chicken. Serve hot.
According to Levana, there is no
Moroccan cooking without preserved lemons. They take about 10 minutes to prepare
and 2 weeks to incubate. The result is a few months' supply of the single
element that will transform many of your dishes from plain to glorious.
Do not let the amount of salt daunt
you. Most of it gets washed away, and you can reduce or eliminate salt from the
dish you are preparing with the preserved lemons.
8 - 10 large lemons
Wash and dry lemons thoroughly.
Remove any green points attached to ends of lemons. Cut them in quarters almost
all the way through, leaving them attached at one end. Enlarge the openings with
your fingers and cram them full of kosher salt. Close lemons and place them in a
clean, wide-mouth, quart-sized glass jar, pressing down hard on lemons as you go
to draw out the juice. Don't worry if juices don't appear immediately; they will
soon with all that salt.
Repeat with all the lemons, forcing
them into the jar. The lemons should be totally submerged in their own juices.
Top with an extra layer of kosher salt to ensure that no lemon skin is exposed.
Place the jar in a dark cool space
(e.g., under the sink). Lemons will be ready in 2 weeks, at which point they
should be refrigerated. To use, take out a quarter of a lemon at a time. Discard
the pulp, rinse the skin thoroughly, and mince. Add to fish and chicken dishes,
bean soups, salads and salsas.