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A Chicken Dish Using Preserved Lemons

Renee-Lucie BenoitAt the beginning of January 2016 I posted an article about how to preserve lemons. It takes at least a month for them to be ready to use. Here's one recipe that worked out well for us. I've added some notes that may help you make it even better. The olives, olive oil, onions, chicken and lemons were all locally grown foods.

Chicken With Preserved Lemon And Green Olives


Makes 2-4 servings

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 onions, grated or very finely chopped (I grated mine in a food processor)
2 to 3 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 teaspoon crushed saffron threads
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
4 large chicken breasts (or 1 whole chicken, cut up in pieces; thighs work, too)
Black pepper
(Since the olives and preserved lemons are salty I suggest adding salt to taste at the table)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Peel of 1 large or 2 small preserved lemons
12 to 16 green olives, pitted and sliced

In a heavy-bottomed pan that can hold all the chicken pieces in one layer, heat the oil over a medium flame and add in the onions. Stir over low heat until they soften. Do not burn. They may brown slightly but mostly keep them soft.


Add in the garlic, saffron and ginger and mix.

Lay the chicken pieces in over the onion and season with pepper. Then pour in about 1 cup of water. Simmer, covered, turning the pieces over once or twice. Add a little more water if it becomes too dry. If you are using dark meat, to avoid overcooking the white meat lift it out after about 15 minutes and put it to one side. Continue to cook the dark meat for another 25 minutes or so, after which time return the white meat to the pan.

Take your preserved lemons and peel away the flesh. Cut the quarters into strips.


Add the lemon juice, chopped coriander, parsley, preserved lemon peel and the olives.


Simmer uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes, until the reduced sauce is thick. If there is too much liquid, lift out the chicken pieces and set aside while you reduce the sauce further, then return the chicken to the pan and heat through.

Put the chicken on a serving dish with the olives and lemon peel on top. Enjoy!