Moroccan Baked Chicken

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So at long last we get to use those preserved lemons! This is a great dish to put a spring in the step of tired, jaded palates. There are lots of great spices and the tart lemon cuts through the richness.

It’s based on a recipe from Paula Wolfert’s fantastic cookbook, The Food of Morocco. If you’re one of those people who read cookbooks like novels, as I do, you’ll love this cookbook. Besides the recipes there are lots of side stories and enough challenging recipes to thrill even hard-core cooks.

We’re going to pack the tops of the chicken pieces with a spicy butter paste and then top it with a spice blend. I used chicken thighs here but this treatment would be great for breasts as well.

Moroccan Baked Chicken, Four-Five Servings

1 package chicken thighs
Five garlic cloves
1/2 t. coarse salt
1/2 t. saffron dissolved in 2 T. water
2 T. melted butter
1 T. coarsely chopped cilantro
1-1/2 T. sweet paprika
1 t. cumin
1/4 t. fresh black pepper
1 t. fresh ginger
Cayenne
1 small onion, sliced
1 box quick-cooking couscous
4 preserved lemon halves

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Combine the garlic, salt, saffron water, butter and cilantro in a food processor or grind in a mortar. Pack it under the skin of the chicken pieces. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
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Preheat the oven to 375. Cover the bottom of a baking dish with the sliced onions and arrange the chicken pieces on top of the onions. Add 1-1/2 c. water to the dish.
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Combine the remaining spices and sprinkle the mixture over the chicken pieces.
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Roast about 45 minutes or until the juices run clear from the thickest part of the meat

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Prepare the couscous according to package directions. Skim the fat from the pan juices and quickly reduce by half in a saucepan. Spoon the juices over the couscous. Roughly chop the preserved lemons and toss them with the couscous. Serve alongside the chicken with flatbread.
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One Comment Add yours

  1. Cathy says:

    Looks stunning!

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