Brian at Riverdog Farm had a request for me: "More chicken and duck recipes please." I think this may be the first request I've had and of course I had to oblige. So here is my second poultry recipe in just a few weeks. At our house, we do eat a lot of chicken, and occasionally duck, quail, or guinea hen. Usually Paul does his Fire Alarm Chicken a la Judy Rogers or he tosses a smaller bird on the grill. But I am always looking for ways to mix things up, so here we go....

I am drawn to Moroccan food, but never cook it myself.  A few months ago, my neighbor Rich loaned me two gorgeous Moroccan cookbooks. I drooled over the photos and found lots of tempting recipes. The Preserved Meyer Lemon recipe that I shared back in May came from Modern Moroccan by Ghillie Basan; we have been enjoying our stash of delicious preserved lemons ever since - cavalierly tossing a few into a roast chicken, or making that scrumptious A16 recipe for Halibut.

I have been remiss in returning Rich's cookbooks because I want to make so many of the recipes. Next Friday we leave for our year of travel and I really can't justify keeping the books any longer. Here's one recipe I had to try before we say goodbye to our kitchen for a year.

We served this succulent chicken over a buttery quinoa pilaf that soaked up the chicken's yummy, lemony sauce.

from Modern Moroccan by Ghillie Basan - a truly inspiring cookbook that sadly seems to be out of print
  • 3 pound chicken
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • small bunch of fresh oregano, finely chopped (Basan's recipe calls for cilantro instead)
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, grated
  • pinch of saffron threads
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger (we used fresh grated ginger instead)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 1/2 cup cracked green olives
  • 2 preserved lemons, rinsed and cut into strips

Rub the cavity of the chicken with garlic, cilantro, lemon juice, and salt.

Mix olive oil, grated onion, saffron, ginger, and pepper on the chicken's skin. Place chicken in a tagine or large flameproof casserole ( I used my trusty Le Creuset dutch oven). Pour the marinating juices over the top, cover, and let the bird marinate for 30 minutes.

Move pot to the stove top. Pour enough water into the pot to come half-way up the sides of the chicken. Add the cinnamon stick and bring water to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about an hour. Turn the chicken occasionally.

Preheat oven to 300.

Carefully lift the chicken out of the pot and set aside on a plate and cover with foil. Turn up the heat on the stove top and reduce the cooking liquid with about 5 minutes of cooking. Return chicken to the pot and baste thoroughly in the juices.

Add olives and preserved lemons. Place casserole in the oven for about 10 minutes. Turn oven up to 475 for a final 5-10 minutes of cooking (this will help to slightly brown the bird).

Serves 4-6

FYI.....We made an unbelievably delicious ginger ale with the leftover fresh ginger. Go to Crumpets and Cakes, get Monika's brilliantly simple recipe and you will be so happy. Amazing!


  1. I have been wanting to cook with preserved lemons and also make them. Your recipe has inspired me to do both. I must try this chicken - it sounds amazing. Great photos!

  2. I think I'll finally try preserving lemons myself, you make them sound so delicious and versatile.

    And the chicken recipe, with those beautiful spices would make a great introduction to Moroccan cooking, love the combination of ginger, saffron and cinnamon, yum!

    P.s. I'm super excited for you guys and your upcoming year of travels!!!
    and thanks for mentioning my Ginger Ale :)

  3. Lisa and M, do give preserved lemons a try. They are ridiculously easy to make and a great addition to the pantry. Plus you can always give away a jar to your friends.
    M, this chicken really was a good into to Moroccan cooking. Who can resist those spices?
    And thanks for the well wishes on the trip. We are so psyched around here!

  4. Lovely! I love Moroccan food too. I hope to make it over there with my husband soon! I so want to give the persevered meyer lemon recipe a try. Sounds delightful.

  5. This looks so good. I made a few jars of preserved lemons a while back and need to start using them.

  6. I was drawn to the photograph first... the recipe is lovely as well... great work, so nice to stop by your blog!

  7. Thanks Monet, Arugulove, and Lostpastremembered! This recipe is a fun way to put preserved lemons to good use and the leftovers (if there are any) are delish!

  8. well, this just looks totally divine! i seriously love preserved lemons, and can't wait to use them in this way! thanks for the great recipe!

  9. I don't know who had the idea to put chicken and olives in a dish together; but she was a genius!

  10. What a tasty looking meal! The preserved lemon and olive flavour combo works really well with chicken.

  11. Oh man this looks delicious! And your photographs are beautiful! Everything here looks great!
    I recently launched my own blog, I'd love for you to check it out and let me know what you think! :) Thanks!

  12. About a month ago I preserved my lemons and I am delighted to say that I successfully remade your braised halibut and this lovely recipe. They were wonderful. It was my first experience to ever eat these and I thoroughly enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing this!

  13. Suzanne HawkinsMarch 02, 2012

    The Moroccan chicken with preserved lemons was divine. I had preserved some lemons and they have been ready to go so I came to your site to see what you had. I have not been eating meat but were having friends over and could not resists making this dish. My girlfriend who had just gone to French Laundry said it has been a long time since she had a home cooked meal this good. Thanks.

  14. Suzanne, Thank you so much for your kind note! I'm so glad the Moroccan Chicken was a success. Huge smile over here:)


So good to hear from you... I appreciate each and every note you leave for me!