*This post was created in partnership with KitchenAid. All photos, recipes, and opinions are my very own. As always, thanks so much for supporting me and my partners in this space.
At the end of January I walked through the process of making preserved lemons over on Instagram. You can still see the process in my story highlights if you missed it. Well I am so excited to finally be putting those lemons to use. Many of you made those lemons right alongside me and I know are very eager for this recipe as well.
If you’ve not had preserved lemon before the flavor is vastly different from a fresh lemon. They are tamed and perfumed. Floral and deeply fragrant. Complex, not biting as they can be when fresh. Regardless of the quantity of salt used in the preserving process the lemons themselves are not overtly salty. You can use both the flesh and rind in dressings, sauces, salads and roast dishes such as the chicken we’re making today. Here we are only using the ring but save the pulp and blitz with a bit of tahini and water for a simple sauce. Or pureé and blend into yogurt for a fragrant dip.
This Chicken, Green Olive and Preserved Lemon Tagine served as the main course for our Moroccan feast in the shop. I served it alongside smoked beets with a cinnamon vinaigrette, couscous with roasted cauliflower and green harissa, M’semen bread, and a blood orange and olive salad. While perfectly fitting for a grand feast like that one the ease of this dish makes it a weekday winner as well.
There are a couple of ingredients that you may not regularly stock in your pantry. Preserved lemons for one. But now that we know how easily those can be made – my next batch has already begun! Saffron is the other and while I’ve not tried it without, I can imagine that it would be quite fine. Save yourself a trip to the store.
When in Morocco six years ago I schlepped home a rust-colored tagine of my own after falling in love with all the clay cooked meals I enjoyed. That tagine sits proudly on my shelf in the kitchen but most often, when making this dish, I reach for a deep skillet with a tightly fitted lid. I also never miss a chance to show off my stunning copper KitchenAid pots and pans.
One final note before I send you off into the kitchen. If you’ve been to a dinner in the shop, you’ve probably heard me gush about my cooktop. It’s that sleek black induction panel in the photos above. I’m in love and am telling the world about it. I went with induction because gas was not an option and after years of old apartment living I did not want to deal with an electric cooktop. While I may not be able to tell you about the science around induction (you can find out more about induction and the technology behind it here on the KitchenAid website) I will tell you how fast it is, how easy it easy to clean, and how I can both achieve a deep char and a steady simmer. And because KitchenAid’s copper pots are induction ready I am always cooking in style.
If you’re ever in Seattle, stop by and I will gush in person. I’ll make you tea just to show you how fast the water boils.
Chicken, Green Olive and Preserved Lemon Tagine
Yield 4 servings
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon gently crushed saffron threads
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch chili flake
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup pitted, sliced green olives
1/4 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
Add the olive oil to a large skillet set over medium-high heat.
Sear the chicken thighs skin side down. Leave them undisturbed for at least 2 minutes or until the skin is copper in color and crisp.
Remove the chicken to a plate, then turn the heat down to medium.
Add the onions and a pinch of sea salt.
Sauté the onions until tender and lightly golden, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic, turmeric, saffron, cinnamon, and chili flake.
Remove the flesh from the preserved lemon and finely mince the peel. Add this to the pan.
Carefully add the white wine. Bring to a simmer then reduce the wine for 2 minutes.
Add the chicken broth then return the chicken and the juices on the plate to the pan.
Scatter the olives and raisins over the top then cover the pan with a lid and simmer for 12 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
I like to finish the tagine in the broiler to crisp up the skin and caramelize the raisins. Broil for just a moment until the chicken skin crisps. Don’t walk away from the pan as I did - the broiler acts fast.
Serve warm over rice or couscous.