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Chicken, Preserved Lemon, and Olive Salad Recipe

Make this delicious, tangy rendition of the classic Moroccan Chicken tagine with preserved lemons, that is a perfect dish for sunny summer days!

| May 2019

 preserved-lemon-salad

Chicken tagine with preserved lemons and olives is one of the most well-known dishes from Morocco. With the recipe so readily available, I felt it didn’t warrant another—but the flavors are an essential part of Moroccan cuisine. So I started to experiment with it, and this is my interpretation: a modern, zingy salad inspired by the traditional version. The signature flavors of tagine became a marinade for the meat, and the other ingredients—olives, preserved lemons, couscous, herbs—form the salad. This is perfect for a summer supper with a cold glass of vino and if the weather’s lousy, it will bring a little of that hazy heat from the dusty hills of Morocco to brighten up your home.

Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 4-1/2tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of 2-1/2 lemons
  • 1-1/4 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, finely sliced
  • A 4-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 preserved lemon (see page 184), pith discarded and zest finely chopped
  • 3/4 cup pitted green olives, roughly chopped
  • A handful of finely chopped cilantro leaves, plus a small handful of leaves to garnish
  • A handful of finely chopped mint leaves
  • Sea salt

Serves: 4

Directions

  1. Using a mortar and pestle, mash the garlic into a paste with a little salt. Add the cumin, ground coriander, ginger, turmeric, two tablespoons of the olive oil, and the juice of 1/2 lemon and mix well. Put the chicken in a mixing bowl and add the spice paste. Mix everything together really well so that the chicken thighs are completely coated. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Put the couscous into a small bowl and pour over enough warm water to cover by about 1/4 inch. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
  3. Put the red onion in a small mixing bowl, then add the juice of 1/2 lemon and a small pinch of salt. Toss together and leave for a few minutes to mellow the rawness of the onion. Add the fennel and 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil and toss together.
  4. Put the couscous in a large mixing bowl. Add the chickpeas, fennel and onion, preserved lemon, olives, herbs, juice of 1 lemon, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix everything together really well.
  5. Meanwhile preheat the broiler to 500°F or its highest setting. Place the chicken on a foil-covered broiler pan and broil for 7 to 8 minutes each side or until cooked through and a little golden. Once cooked, slice into thin strips, season with a little salt, and squeeze over the juice of 1/2 lemon.
  6. To serve, turn the salad out onto a large platter. Arrange the chicken over the top and spoon over any juices left in the pan. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve immediately.

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Reprinted with permission from Orange Blossom and Honey by John Gregory-Smith and published by Kyle Books, 2017.







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