Chicken in Moroccan Style

Another visit to Tangiers International, and a recent viewing of one of the best movies of all time, Casablanca, put us in the mood for something inspired by the exotic locale of Morocco. Always looking to put a different spin on chicken, we came up with this dish that uses a classic Moroccan ingredient, preserved lemons. The particular lemons we used were preserved whole in their own juice, salt and sunflower oil and seeds. Their taste is intensely lemony with a bit of saltiness. Some garlic and dried cilantro tamed the lemon flavor and couscous was a perfect accompaniment to the tasty roasted chicken.

4-5 pound roasting chicken
6-8 preserved lemons (can be found at a Middle Eastern grocery store)
1 head of garlic
1 -2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup water

Preheat the oven to 400. Place the preserved lemons down on the bottom of a roasting pan. After splitting the chicken down the back, rest, skin side up, over the lemons. Brush the chicken skin with olive oil, then sprinkle it with salt, pepper and the dried cilantro (to taste). Separate the garlic cloves from the head, then peel them and cut them in half. Place those around and/or under the chicken. Add the water to the pan and place it in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. Cover the chicken with aluminum foil and lower the heat to 325, then bake for 45 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 180. To crisp the skin at the end, uncover it and baste it, then raise the heat to 400 again and bake it for 15 minutes longer. Serve with the lemons with couscous or your favorite side dish.


penny aka jeroxie said...

I do like preserved lemons. It is very powerful. I can have some of that right now.

Simply Life said...

oh this sounds great! nice work!

Mae said...

Preserved lemons are great - this is a lot like the Greek chicken my mom always made, too!