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Moroccan Chicken

Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Meyer Lemons

Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Meyer Lemons

There are as many recipes for Moroccan chicken as there are Moroccan grandmothers. In this case I use preserved Meyer lemons and olives as the main taste ingredients. It also calls for a mix of traditional spices from the region of North Africa. The preserved lemons surprisingly provide a silkiness to the sauce. The olives provide a savory complement to the spices. Beware the use of salt in this dish! The preserved lemons and olives have quite a bit of salt. Wait until the very end to make any salt adjustments.

2 teaspoons paprika, preferably smoked
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 whole chicken legs, thighs attached
1 cup chopped onion
1 preserved lemon, cut into long thing strips
1/2 cup green olives, quartered
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
kosher salt if needed

Combine the spices in a large bowl. Add the chicken legs to the bowl and cover thoroughly in the spices. Set aside

In a saute pan with a cover or a dutch oven, add the olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Add the onions and saute for about 5 minutes. Remove the onion from the pan and add the chicken legs, skin side down, reduce the heat to medium and saute until the skin is browned, about 5 to 7 minutes. Turn the chicken legs and saute the other side for about 5 minutes.

Add the chicken stock, the preserved lemon, and the olives to the pan. Bring the chicken stock to the boil and reduce the heat to medium low. Cover the pan and let simmer for about 30 minutes.

Remove the chicken legs from the pan and place on a plate. Cover with foil. In the mean time increase the heat on the remaining sauce to medium and reduce the sauce by about half. It should take 7 to 10 minutes.

Place the legs on a serving plate and cover with the sauce.