Saturday, April 28, 2012

Quick Braised Chicken with Moroccan Spices, Lemons, and Olives

This dish takes a bit of time to cook (about an hour total), but requires very little effort for a richly flavoured dish.

Quick Braised Chicken with Moroccan Spices, Lemons, and Olives (from Cook This Now)

1 lemon, ends trimmed (or a preserved lemon)
1 tbsp plus 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1.4 kg chicken thighs and drumsticks
1 1/2 tsp black pepper
3 - 4 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped (1.5 cups)
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp sweet paprika
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cayenne
2 - 3 cups chicken stock
1/4 tsp crumbled saffron
1/2 cup green olives, pitted if desired
3 tbsp dried currants or diced dried apricots (optional; I omitted)
2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro or mint

1. Thinly slice lemon crosswise into rounds. Cut rounds into quarters.
2. (If using preserved lemons, skip this step.) Place lemon in small saucepan with water and still in 1 tbsp kosher salt. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Drain and rinse.
3. Season chicken with 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt and pepper. In large, deep skillet, heat 3 tbsp oil over medium high heat. Brown chicken on both sides, 10 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate.
4. If skillet looks dry, add 1 tbsp oil. Add onion and saute until soft, 5 minutes.
5. Stir in garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin, paprika, turmeric, and cayenne and cook for 1 minute.
6. Add chicken and coat with spice mixture. Pour in stock until 2/3 of chicken is covered.
7. Stir in saffron and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 25 minutes.
8. Uncover and add lemon slices, olives, and dried fruit. Cover and return to simmer until chicken is cooked, 10 minutes.
9. Transfer chicken to serving platter.
10. Raise heat to high and boil sauce uncovered until thickened, 10 minutes.
11. Stir in cilantro or mint and spoon over chicken to serve.

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