Moroccan chicken with lemon

Yield: 12 Servings

Measure Ingredient
2 Chickens; 2-1/2 lb each
2 Preserved lemons; (recipe below)
2 teaspoons Finely chopped garlic
2 teaspoons Ground; dried ginger
¾ teaspoon Finely ground pepper
¼ teaspoon Powered saffron
½ cup Peanut; vegetable or corn oil
4 cups Water
¾ Grated onion; (how-to below)
8 Stalks fresh coriander; (cilantro) tied w/string
Salt to taste
24 Imported black olives; (approx 1 C.)
6 Lemons; up to 10


Lemons (made at least 2 weeks in advance): 6-10 lemons and salt

1. Set each lemon on the flat stem end. Using a sharp knife, cut straight down through the center of each lemon to about ½ inch of the base. Leave each sliced lemon on its base, but give it a quarter turn. Slice down once more to within ½ inch of the base. Continue until all the lemons are prepared.

2. Make a ¼ inch layer of salt in a sterile quart Mason jar.

3. Pack the inside of each lemon with salt. As each lemon is prepared, add it to the jar, pushing down. Make a layer of lemons, then a layer of salt, pressing down lightly on the lemons to make sure that are snug. They will, of course, give up much of their juices as they are pressed. Continue until the jar is packed full. Press down until juices rise to cover the lemons.

Make certain that a little air space is left when the jar is sealed. Let stand in a not too warm place for at least two weeks, until the lemons are firm but tender.

4. Always rinse the lemons before using. After the jar is opened, refrigerate. These lemons may also be used with baked fish dishes, in salads and in marinades.

Grated Onions:

To grate onions for Moroccan cooking, peel about 1 pound of onions. Cut them into quarters. Blend thoroughly in a food processor. Place a sieve over a bowl and add the onions. Let drain.

The Chicken:

1. Wipe the inner cavity of the chickens carefully.

2. Rinse the lemons with cold water. Drain. Remove the pulp from the skins of the lemons. Reserve the skins. Put the pulp in the container of an electric blender or food processor. Add the garlic, ginger, pepper and saffron and start blending. Gradually add the oil. Spoon the mixture into a large mixing bowl.

3. Add the chickens to the bowl and rub them inside and out with the mixture. Add the livers. Cover and let stand overnight in the refrigerator.

4. Transfer the chickens, breast side down, to a kettle in which they will fit neatly and in one layer. Add the livers and the marinating mixture. To the bowl in which the chickens marinated, add the water, stirring to blend the remaining remnants of marinade in the bowl. Add this to the chickens.

Add the onion and the coriander. Add salt to taste. Bring the cooking liquid to a boil. Partly cover and simmer for about 30 minutes. Uncover, turn the chicken breast side up and continue cooking for about 15 minutes.

5. Remove the chickens and livers. Place the chickens breast side up in a baking dish. Set aside.

6. Chop and mash the livers to a paste. Add the liver paste to the cooking liquid. Quarter the reserved lemon peel and add the pieces. Add the olives.

Cook down the liquid to 4 cups. 7. Place the baking dish containing the chickens in a 500-degree oven to brown. Serve the chicken carved into pieces with the sauce on the side.

8. Yield 12 servings.

Posted to CHILE-HEADS DIGEST by Constance Allen <callen@...> on Sep 19, 1998, converted by MM_Buster v2.0l.

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