It’s a great classic of Moroccan cuisine, a vibrant melange of flavors and spices of the Maroccan land, so exquisite!! This chicken is infused with a lot of spices, nothing too strong or overwhelming, just enough to give a wonderful boost to the marinated meat. You can find a lot of versions, with different types of olives, and different ways to prepare it and to serve it.
Green olives and preserved lemons make the dish here. These incredible small preserved lemons, little balls kissed by the sun, that bring an amazing fruity taste to the meat, reminiscences of faraway lands and exotic ancient culinary expertise.
All this said, it is an easy chicken recipe to make, you will just need some time for the marinade and preparation.This recipe, my friends is a great leaner alternative to complex cooking and eating looming out for us with the Holidays approaching!
Ingredients: serves 6
- 1 whole skinless chicken cut in pieces or skinless thighs, legs and breasts
- 2 medium onions diced very thin
- 2 garlic cloves pureed
- 2 to 3 small preserved lemons
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt 2 to 3 pinches
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 fresh small tomatoes diced or 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon ground saffron
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoons ground bsibissa or macis or paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon curcuma
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons pepper
- 2 teaspoons chopped or dried herbs (herbes the Provence, parsley/basil mix)
- 1/4 cup good olive oil
- 1 cup to 1+1/2 cup pitted green olives
- Butter for roasting
- Pre heat the oven at 375.
- Make small cuts on chicken pieces, not too deep but enough to allow the marinade to perfume the meat.
- On a small skillet over medium heat ,add spices and grilled them quickly 2 to 3 minutes ( this step is optional)
- In a large bowl add, onions, garlic, lemon juice, 4 tablespoons olive oil, pepper, herbs, spices, a pinch of salt, lemon rind, chicken pieces.
- This step is important :Work well to coat, possibly with the clean hands or two spoons, so that all chicken pieces are entirely covered with the spice mixture.
- Place into the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap for at least 1 hour to overnight.
- In a large saucepan, over low heat, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil, add chicken and marinade, let it cook, covered, for about 10 minutes till pieces are slightly golden. Add some water enough to cover barely the meat and cook again till meat is tender (check it the fork) but not too loose. If necessary add some water.
- At this stage, you should have a thick sauce at the bottom of your pan, and a good cooked chicken.
- Prepare a slightly oiled oven pan, place chicken pieces, add butter, roast till chicken pieces are well browned. When golden, remove from oven, return chicken to the pan, add olives, preserved lemons, adjust well the seasoning to your taste. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes more.
- Serve on a large plate with the sauce, let yourself be inspired for the sides, a raisins couscous, chickpeas and apricots, or with golden roasted potatoes (made in the oven with chicken)