Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemon

Myriad spices and preserved lemon come together in this exotically flavored chicken dish with minimal hands-on time, making Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemon an ideal recipe for entertaining.

A platter mounded with Moroccan Chicken

Looking back at one of my old blog posts feels like pulling out an old high school yearbook from a dusty closet shelf. I first prepared this recipe in February 2014. At the time I hit “post,” I was feeling reasonably accomplished and proud to post both recipe and photograph. Four plus years later, I cringe – at the poorly lit and composed image and appallingly written recipe, for starters. What. Was. I. Thinking. In the future, when I’m exasperated by my lack of noticeable improvement, I’ll revisit a post from 2014 to remind myself how far I’ve truly come. Oh, the horror.

Inspired by Epicurious’s Chicken Tagine with Olives and Lemons.


Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemon

Myriad spices and preserved lemon come together in this exotically flavored chicken dish with minimal hands-on time, making Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemon an ideal recipe for entertaining.


Ingredients

  • 1 head garlic, peeled
  • Handful Italian parsley
  • Handful cilantro
  • ½ onion, sliced
  • ½ cup lemon juice
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 Tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron threads
  • 8 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs (about 3.5 – 4 lbs.)
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into 1” slices
  • ¾ cup pitted oil-cured black olives
  • 1 ½ preserved lemons, sliced (or one fresh lemon very thinly sliced)

Directions

  1. In a food processor, process first 12 ingredients through saffron to make a marinade. Arrange chicken, carrots, olives and lemon in a 13×9” pan and pour marinade over and around ingredients. Cover with foil and refrigerate at least two hours and up to one day.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place dish, covered with foil, in oven and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake for 30 additional minutes until chicken is cooked through. If desired, broil for an additional 5 minutes to crisp skin on chicken.
  3. To serve, arrange chicken, carrots, olives and lemon on a platter. Degrease sauce and pour over chicken and vegetables. Serve with aromatic rice.

The author in a photo from highschool

Speaking of school years…yep, gloves, a walking stick, and check out those shoulder pads!

 

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Moroccan Chicken with preserved kumquats and olives

Moroccan Chicken with preserved kumquats and olives

The chicken was an overall success.  Such layers of flavors!  Too many layers, sadly; I lost the kumquat flavor entirely.  Just a hint of citrus was all that remained.  I’m going to try them with a simpler flavor profile next time.

 Moroccan Chicken with preserved kumquats and olives
8              garlic cloves
1 bu.      cilantro
½             chopped onion
2 T.         vinegar
2 T.         olive oil
2 T.         smoked paprika
2 t.          ground cumin
1 t.          salt
½ t.         pepper
½ t.         cayenne
¼ t.         saffron threads

Chicken thighs, bone-in, skinless
Oblique carrots
½ onion, finely sliced
¾ cup oil cured black olives
1/3 c. chopped preserved kumquats

Process first 11 ingredients into a paste.  Cover chicken with paste and refrigerate overnight.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Place sliced onion, carrots, olives and kumquats in dish.  Add chicken and spice paste.  Add a bit of water, if needed.  Cover and bake for 1 hour.  Transfer to platter.  Reduce sauce if needed and spoon over chicken and vegetables.