My trip to France and Switzerland with my family recently was exciting. I saw a salt mine, spent a whole day in Geneva by myself and managed to explore a lot of the city, went to Montreux and Evian and had a wonderful time in the castle-like town of Gruyère (cheese! all that cheese!). While in Evian, we ate a wonderful Moroccan restaurant and had great tagine. My sister and I shared the dish shown below with couscous. I didn’t manage to take a picture of what my mother had, but it was chicken cooked with preserved lemons and green olives. Et voilà.
This is my variation of the dish, since I have always loved preserved lemons (and I made a small jar just before I left for Kuala Lumpur, and returned just in time for the lemons to be ready!). I decided to not use too many spices, just the essential ones that I believe bring out the flavours of the chicken and lemons. It is simple to make – I decided to make it in my clay pots that I have recently bought. This dish only uses the oven – easy to assemble and just bake until cooked. If you don’t have oven-safe pots with a lid, a baking tray covered with foil would do just fine.
I only have 2 clay pots (and since I only cook for 2 people in this house), so this portion is for 2 hungry people. Increase ingredient amounts accordingly.
- 2 whole leg of chicken – thigh separated from the drumstick,
- 1 tsp of ground ginger
- 1 tsp of ground cumin
- 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
- 2 tsps of ground black pepper
- 1 medium-sized red onion, sliced
- 2 large cloves of garlic, sliced
- 1 large preserved lemon (4 quarters) – pulp removed.
- 6 -8 green olives, pit removed.
- salt, to season.
- 2-3 tbsps of olive oil (I accidentally used a lot more…)
- a pinch of saffron threads
- 1/2 cup of hot water
- Place the saffron threads into the cup of hot water, and preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.
- At the bottom of the baking dish, arrange the sliced onions and garlic.
- Marinade the chicken pieces with the ground ginger, ground cumin, ground cinnamon and black pepper, and season lightly with some salt.
- Place the chicken pieces on top of the onions and garlic.
- Roughly chop the preserved lemon and olives, and place into the dish (on top and around) with the chicken.
- Pour the saffron water into the dish on top of the chicken, and lightly cover the chicken with the olive oil.
- Cover the dish with the lid (or foil), and bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
- Remove the lid, and let it bake for another 10-15 minutes, to brown the chicken slightly. Check to make sure that the chicken is thoroughly cooked.
- Serve with some couscous.