Chicken with Lemon and Olives (4)

Here is another version of this Moroccan favourite from Nigel Slater. Serve with couscous , a simple rice pilaff or a green salad.

Chicken with Lemon and Olives (4)
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Chicken with Lemon and Olives (4)
Print Recipe
  1. Put the chicken pieces into a mixing bowl. Mix together the coriander and cumin seeds, then grind them to a fine powder. You can use a spice mill for this, but it takes seconds with a pestle and mortar. Stir in the ground cinnamon and hot smoked paprika.
  2. Peel the ginger and grate to a paste on a fine-toothed grater. Add the ginger paste to the spices, then mix in half the olive oil. Rub this paste over the chicken, massaging it into the skin and flesh with your hands. Cover the bowl with a plate and set aside for an hour.
  3. Warm the remaining olive oil in a deep, heavy-based casserole over a moderate heat, then add the chicken pieces, letting them brown lightly before turning them over. Keep an eye on them, checking that the spice paste doesn’t burn. Remove the chicken pieces and set aside on a plate.
  4. Peel the onions and cut them in half, then cut each half into 6 segments. Peel the garlic, then slice finely. Return the empty chicken pot to the heat, stir in the onions and garlic and leave them to cook on a medium heat until they are soft and pale gold in colour. Give them a stir from time to time.
  5. Finely chop the preserved lemons, removing the pips as you go. You can remove the pith inside if you wish. Stir the lemons into the onions, then pour in the stock and bring to the boil.
  6. Lower the heat so the liquid simmers gently, return the chicken and any escaped juices to the pan, partially cover with a lid, then leave to cook for a good hour, checking the liquid levels from time to time.
  7. Stir in the olives, stoning them if necessary, then check the sauce for seasoning, adding a little salt or black pepper as you think fit. Remove the chicken with a draining spoon and set aside, then turn up the heat and reduce the sauce a little. Taste and check the seasoning again.
  8. Finely chop the mint. Remove the leaves from the coriander, then scatter both over the chicken as you serve, as a vivid top note.
  9. To finish the dish, take the chicken out of the sauce with a draining spoon and keep it warm while you reduce the liquid over a high heat. It should not thicken, but the reduction will concentrate the notes of lemon, salt and spice. Serve with couscous, rice or a green salad.
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