For those who have tried to make the preserved lemons a few posts back this recipe is for you. This recipe was inspired a bit by Michael Pollan, and a bit by my ex boyfriend’s mom, who makes the most delicious Moroccan food. I’ve read both the Omnivore’s Dilemma, and In Defense of Food, by Michel Pollan, which I found to be very inspiring. For me, both books brought to life a mindfulness about the food I cook. Delicious homemade food does not have to be complicated or time consuming, and the ingredients to not have to be hard to obtain. Buy fresh whole vegetables, fresh meat, if you go that route, and fresh herbs for seasoning. I like to follow Michael Pollan’s instructions on how to navigate around a grocery store, shop mainly around the perimeter. I think this recipe is the perfect example for following this cooking philosophy.
- Chicken legs – 8
- 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 15 oz. can green olives
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 yellow bell pepper
- 5 cloves garlic
- 4 tbs. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
- 1 tbs. cumin
- 2 tsp. turmeric
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a heavy pot, heat the olive on medium high head. Thinly slice the onions and bell pepper and put them into the pot. Next add the roughly chopped garlic and chicken. Cook all the ingredients on medium high until the chicken is browned on all sides and the vegetables start to brown. Season with the salt and pepper. Add the can of crushed tomatoes, and drained olives. Roughly chop half of a preserved lemon and stir to incorporate. If you have an oven proof pot or cast iron, place this into the oven. If you do not, transfer to a ceramic dish, and bake for 1 hour until the chicken dish is bubbling. Serve with crusty bread, or quinoa and enjoy.
My backyard has a Meyer lemon tree, I find this one of the greatest perks of my place. When first introduced to preserved lemons, I really didn’t know what to do with them, as they are not a common place occurrence in the American cuisine. As I became acquainted with Moroccan food, I came to realize that you can use preserved lemons in just about anything. Roast chicken, braised meat, and sauteed vegetables just to begin. I’ll follow shortly with some of my favorite recipes after these are finished, in this post I wanted to share the process of preserving lemons. I have a fondness for just about anything citrus. I often joke that I died of scurvy in a past life.
Start by scrubbing the lemons with a clean kitchen brush to remove any dirt, and dry them on a clean dish towel. I find that the most complicated process of preserving lemons, is sterilizing the jars. The first time doing this, I dumped hot water all over my bare feet and had scalding water rush down my arms. I was moving too quickly, and when I used the tongs to grab the jars out of the pot, the water rushed down them and onto my feet and arms. If you take your time, however I’m sure you will be safe from harm.
Thoroughly wash the jars, lids, and rings with warm soapy water. While doing that bring a large pot of water to a boil. Using tongs, gently place 2 jars at a time, depending on the size of the pot, and boil for 5 minutes. You want the jars to be completely submersed in water. Very carefully lift the now sterilized jar out of the pot of boiling water, and air dry.
Cut a lemon in quarters without cutting all the way through, leaving the lemon connected on one end. Put one tablespoon of kosher salt into each sliced lemon and place in the jar. Fill the jar full of however many lemons will fit, and screw the lid on tightly. Store the jar for three weeks to a month before using. Once opened, only use a clean utensil to remove the lemon sections, and refrigerate.