Bowl of Chicken with Lemon and Olives
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Chicken with Lemons & Olives
Morocco - Fez
  -   Djej Makalli
Serves:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
4 main  
***
3+ hrs  
Yes

Chicken with Lemon and olives is one of the most famous Moroccan dishes, in fact there are a number of distinct variations on the theme. Even this named recipe has many minor, variations. This delicious dish is easily adaptable to table or buffet service (see Note-4).




2
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12
3
2
2
1-1/2
1
1
1
2/3
1
3
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1-1/2
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2
2
1-1/2
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1
5
#
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oz
cl
T
T
T

t
t
t
t
T
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c
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T
T
T
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oz
Chicken Meat (1)  
-- Marinade & Sauce
Onions
Garlic
Cilantro
Parsley
Lemon Juice
Preserved Pulp (2)  
Ginger, ground
Cumin seed
Pepper, black
Salt
Olive Oil ExtV
--------------
Stock, Chicken
-- Finish
Cilantro
Parsley
Lemon Juice
-- Garnish
Preserved Peel (2)  
Olives (3)
Prep   -   (55 min + marinate time)
  1. Cut CHICKEN into the size serving pieces you want, perhaps 1-1/2 inch pieces for buffet service, somewhat larger for table service - they will shrink.
  2. Chop ONIONS fine. Crush GARLIC and chop fine. Mix.
  3. Chop CILANTRO and PARSLEY fine. Mix. Chop enough for both instances and divide in half right now, so you don't forget.
  4. Squeeze 3 T LEMON JUICE, enough for both instances, and divide it in half right now so you don't forget.
  5. Peel the pulp from 1 Preserved Lemon. Chop the pulp and add it to the Marinade half of the Lemon Juice. Cut the Rind into narrow strips and reserve for Garnish.
  6. Grind Pepper and Cumin in your spice grinder.
  7. Mix all Marinade items and massage into Chicken. Set aside for an hour or however much time you can spare, or refrigerate overnight.
Run   -   (1 hr)
  1. Pour Chicken and all Marinade into a large sauce pan or spacious sauté pan. Stir in the Stock and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for about 40 minutes or until the Chicken is tender.
  2. Uncover the Chicken and reduce liquid at a fast simmer until at a light sauce consistency.
  3. Stir in the Finish items. Bring back to a simmer for about 2 minutes.
  4. Garnish with strips of Preserved Lemon Rind and Olives. Serve hot with Rice or Couscous - I usually serve with rice, keeping the sauce fairy liquid.
NOTES:
  1. Chicken:   Weight is for skinless, boneless chicken. I always use thigh and/or leg meat for better flavor and texture than the cardboard breast meat we get in North America. The pattern recipe calls for a whole 3-1/2 pound chicken, but I use skinned and boned, and make up the favor using strong chicken stock made from the skin and bones instead of water. This makes for easy serving and prevents resentment over who got the best pieces.
  2. Preserved Lemon:   This is an essential North African ingredient. Jars of Preserved Lemon can be found in markets serving North African, Levantine or Middle Eastern communities - or much better, make your own per our recipe Preserved Lemons. It's easy but it takes a few weeks for fermentation. Many recipes use only the rind, but the pulp and rind are used separately in this recipe.
  3. Olives:   Weight is with pits - about 3-1/2 ounces if pitted. These should be large green or purple Mediterranean olives. Pit them or not, as you wish. I usually use purple Kalamatas, which I can buy already pitted. Some recipes call for Brown Moroccan Olives (much smaller), but those aren't common around here. For details see our Olives page.
  4. Buffet Service:   As written, this recipe is for table service, but it is very easily adapted to buffet. Though it is essentially all chicken, leg and thigh meat can be had at a good price, as well as leg quarters with the skin, bones and off-cuts needed to make a good chicken stock. Make ahead, but reheat and stir in the Finish items just before serving. Also, just stir in the Garnishes. You could consider cutting the Olives in half crosswise if rather large, or breaking them if you have to pit them yourself.
  5. Comments:   Some recipes cook the olives, but this is reported to make them bitter, so we use them as a garnish. Various published recipes use whole chickens or separated joints, rubbed with the marinade, but others call for just breasts. Breasts are easy to cut into pieces, but have no other positive attributes, being dry, flavorless and stringy. They have been slowly going out of style in North America for some years now.
  6. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove ",in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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