Tuesday, 22 October 2013 22:09

Cooking with Moroccan preserved lemons

And yet another dish I discovered just by chance – planning a Moroccan meal for Mary’s Dinner Club I was browsing for recipes, but could not find anything that struck me as easy and yet exciting. One thing that held me back with this particular recipe was that it required Moroccan preserved lemons.

I finally decided to cheat and ‘preserved’ my lemons during the very reduced time period of hardly an hour… I cut some lemons into large pieces, mixed them with several tablespoons of salt in a jar, shook them around a bit and voila – my preserved lemons. The result – fantastic!

Living in Cyprus and enjoying an abundance of lemons for about 8 months of the year, preserved lemons are nowadays never missing from my pantry. I have obviously since refined my preserved lemon recipe and have created innumerable amazing stews with it – with and without meat. Even potatoes take on a totally ‘new personality’ if stewed with Moroccan preserved lemons.

For some very down-to-earth instructions on how to preserve your lemons in a slightly less basic way than I did during my first ‘emergency’,  have a look at this – you’ll be amazed how easy it is.

Ingredients for chicken with Moroccan preserved lemons

  • 1 whole chicken, skin removed, cut into pieces
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 very large onions, thinly sliced
  • one small handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • one small handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or pressed
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled
  • 1 handful green or red olives
  • 1 preserved lemon, quartered and seeds removed
  • 2 cups of water or chicken broth

Moroccan preserved lemons

Preparation of chicken with Moroccan preserved lemons

Simmer all ingredients except the olives for about an hour or until the chicken is very tender. Add the olives and heat them through. Serve with rice and place a bowl of your Moroccan preserved lemonson the table ‘just for show’.

For a breathtakingly beautiful book on Moroccan cuisine see The food of Morocco by Paula Wolfert – featuring beautiful pictures, recipes and stories.

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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