While researching ways to use Meyer lemons, quickly, I came across the idea of preserving them. Preserved lemons came up as a staple of Moroccan cooking. Apparently using them to make sauce for lamb or chicken (in that order) is the most common way of using them. Not being a big fan of lamb I naturally migrated to chicken for my first recipe.
Recipes for Moroccan chicken have many variations. I am sure like most recipes for every grandmother in Morocco there is a chicken recipe ostensibly handed down for generations in the family. Most of these chicken recipes do not even call for preserved lemons. Olives and dried fruits seemed to be common ingredients for most recipes. And the use of a a tangine, a Moroccan clay cooking vessel, seems to be the preferred method for cooking.
I had gone to all the trouble of making preserved lemons, so I included them in my recipe. I included olives and omitted the dried fruit. I wanted the dish to be more savory than sweet. And with no tangine I found that a dutch oven, or covered saute pan worked just as well. I am amazed by the subtlety of the lemon flavor when it is preserved. It gives the dish a silky, lemony flavor without screaming “lemon.” And the mix of spices, olives and lemons give the dish a unique taste and texture. It comes together in about 45 minutes which makes it a convenient weeknight dish. So even without a Moroccan grandmother you can make a tasty version of Moroccan chicken.