Chicken with Preserved Lemon and Green Olives
You know how there are some dishes that just fall between the culinary cracks – they’re so easy to make you feel you’d be cheating your guests, but seem too special-tasting for an everyday supper? So you tend to forget all about them until suddenly, they pop up in your head and you think, ‘why on earth haven’t I done that recently?’
This fabulous Moroccan recipe, care of Claudia Roden, is one such dish. It tastes heavenly, with fall-off-the-bone chicken, gentle spices and the zing of lemons and green olives, but is so effortless it feels sinful. You just put all your ingredients into a big pot and forget about them for almost an hour. You might like to go mad with your accompaniment – some saffron rice, perhaps, or couscous with vegetables, but you won’t need to do too much – all the flavour you need is right there, in the chicken.
To serve two, you will need:
Two chicken pieces, divided into thighs and drumsticks
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 onion, grated or chopped
1 crushed garlic clove
a pinch of saffron
¼ tsp ground ginger
¾ tsp cinnamon
salt and pepper
a bunch of coriander/cilantro, finely chopped*
a bunch of parsley, finely chopped**
the peel of a preserved lemon, chopped
a handful of green olives
* Often I don’t have coriander/cilantro, so go without, and it still tastes good
** In the winter I use dried parsley, and seem to get away with it
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Here's what you do:
Put all the ingredients except the preserved lemon and green olives into a large saucepan. Add about half a pint of water, stir and simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes.
Check it every now and then again, adding water if necessary.
Add your lemon and olives and cook for a further 20 minutes.
I told you it was easy, didn’t I?
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