I realized only now, having being in the kitchen hours on end to provide for my own family, how much advantage I took growing up being surrounded by constant homemade meals made by my parents (and grandparents). In a middle eastern kitchen, you are never too full to scarf down food they just prepared or else you'd hear your grandma curse at you in a language you have yet to pick up on. With that being said, I now realize how much effort (and honestly, love) it takes to create a dinner for my family. I constantly try to take things from my childhood & recreate it to the best of my ability, adding some modern tweaks (thanks to the internet of endless sources). This particular dish is a Moroccan Chicken infused with complex flavors… exotic spices, lemon essence, and salty olives. It truly is a filling, warm & "homey" meal that takes basic chicken to an entire new level of delicious & far from typical. I am happy to be sharing this recipe with you all & I know you will enjoy it as much as I do. Down below is the recipe, add a comment question or suggestion below & don't forget to tag us in your recreation of this incredible recipe!
3 1/2 lbs bone-in chicken pieces
1/2 tsp saffron threads
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground ginger
Pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 quart chicken stock
2 preserved lemons (or sub fresh lemons), peel only, pulp discarded
1 cup pitted green olives
1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro for garnish
Salt and pepper
Grind the saffron threads into powder using a spice mortar and pestle. Mix saffron powder, cumin, paprika, turmeric, ginger, cayenne pepper and cinnamon together in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture evenly onto the chicken pieces.
Heat olive oil in deep skillet or sauté pan over medium high heat. Sauté the onion in the oil till it turns translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté till lightly browned.
Arrange the chicken pieces snugly inside the skillet. Pour chicken stock over the pieces.
Remove pulp from the 2 lemons, Cut the peel into thin slices and arrange it evenly spaced in the pan.
Bring stock to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer and cover the skillet. Let the chicken simmer for 60-75 minutes.
Add olives to the sauce in the skillet. Bring sauce in the skillet to a boil and let it reduce and thicken for a few minutes.
Remove skillet from heat and taste the sauce. Season with more salt and pepper, if desired. Serve on a bed of couscous, basmati rice or mashed potatoes; pour the sauce over the chicken and the starch. Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro.