Sunday, October 18, 2009

Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Preserved Lemons over Couscous

Plan this dish at least a month in advance if you plan to preserve the lemons. Or, you can buy them in specialty stores.

For a printable version click here.

Moroccan Lemon Chicken

TagineImage by sethfrantzman via Flickr

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1 whole chicken, cut into 8 serving pieces

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped

1 1/2 cups chicken stock

rind of 1 preserved lemon, cut into slivers (recipe below)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Fresh cilantro to garnish

2 cups couscous, cooked as directed

Heat the oil in the bottom of a tagine or a large Dutch oven. Saute onion and garlic over moderate heat for five minutes until onion is translucent and soft (but not brown).

Raise the heat, add the chicken pieces, and brown evenly turning often. Add the turmeric, cilantro, chicken stock, salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile rinse the pieces of lemon in cold running water and with a sharp chef knife trim the flesh and white pith of the lemon and discard. Cut the softened rind into thin strips and stir into the chicken.

Cover and cook very slowly for about 1 1/2 hours. Remove lid and if necessary, boil rapidly to reduce and thicken.

Garnish with fresh cilantro before serving with couscous.

Serves four.

Israeli Couscous

Preserved Lemons

For a printable version click here.

Preserved Lemons

When life gives you lemonsImage by jfraser via Flickr

8 lemons
1/4 to 1/2 cup kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon whole peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon whole cloves
Quarter 4 of the lemons, but don't cut all the way through; leave the slices attached at one end.
Sprinkle a pinch of salt in the bottom of a glass jar with a lid or an earthenware crock.
Liberally sprinkle a few pinches of salt on each lemon, and pack tightly into the container, crushing them to release the juice. Squeeze the remaining 4 lemons and add the juice to the container so that the lemons are almost covered with juice.
It is difficult to predict how many lemons you will need for this process because of varying amounts of juice in lemons.
The lemons you are preserving don't need to be totally covered with juice.
Cover the jar or crock and refrigerate for about 4 days, then stir the lemons, re-cover, add peppercorns and cloves and return to the refrigerator.
Leave undisturbed for at least one month. Rinse the lemons in cold water, discard the flesh and pith, and slice the rind before adding to a recipe.

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