Simply delicious with all those waming spices + zesty tang of preserved lemon – and so eassssyyyyy!
Don’t be put off by the long list of ingredients: the prep could not be easier + the dish looks after itself once in the oven.
You will need:
4 chicken breasts, skin on and partly boned
8 large chicken thighs, skin removed (and preferably with the bone left in)
2 tbsp of olive oil
3 onions, halved and sliced into half-moons
½ tsp of turmeric
225ml of chicken stock
½ tsp of saffron threads
100g of green olives, stone in
for the marinade
1 preserved lemon
6 garlic gloves, green shoots removed and roughly chopped
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp each of paprika, cumin and cayenne
4 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp of lemon oil (from the preserved lemons)
salt and pepper
a handful of roughly chopped parsley and coriander
This is what you do:
- First, make the marinade: remove the flesh from the preserved lemon and chop it up, keep the rind for the sauce.
- Mix the flesh with the other marinade ingredients
- Rub the marinade all over the chicken joints, spooning some marinade under the skin
- Cover and leave in the fridge for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- Turn the joints every so often
- Heat the oil in a the bottom of a large frying pan, add the chicken and quickly fry until golden brown
- Transfer the chicken into an ovenproof casserole dish
- In the same pan, start to fry the onions
- When they are beginning to turn translucent, add the turmeric and continue to cook, stirring, for another minute
- Add the onions to the chicken pieces
- Bring the stock to the boil and dissolve the saffron threads in it
- Pour the stock over the chicken
- It will look like there is insufficient liquid, but this is it all it needs – the chicken will get nicely browned on top whilst the sauce makes itself underneath
- Cook in the oven, pre-heated to 180 C, for 45 minutes
- Cut the lemon rind into thin strips and add it to the dish, together with the olives, 15 minutes before the end of the cooking time
- You will need to rinse the olives if they are preserved in brine
- Check the sauce for pepper and salt before serving
- Scatter the dish with roughly chopped parsley and coriander
- Serve with rice, couscous, bulghur wheat or flatbread
Would be yummy followed by an orange (or tangerine) & almond cake (see blog post from a few weeks ago) maybe with a simply salady starter (or steamed tenderstem broccoli with a vinaigrette + some toasted flaked almonds) .
Great if you like hosting a dinner party without hassle as lots of the prep can be done beforehand and the chicken will quite happily “sit around” for a bit if proceedings are delayed somewhat….