Chicken Braised with Preserved Lemons and Cinnamon

This easy Moroccan-influenced chicken recipe combines olives with cinnamon and preserved lemons. Serve this simple dish with couscous for a comforting family meal.

Introduction

This is one of those dishes you could happily eat once a week, so learning to make it by rote will certainly have its value. It uses small and mild preserved lemons so reduce the quantity of lemons you add to the recipe if you only have stronger ones.

Serves 6
Easy
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 1 h 30 min
Total time: 1 h 40 min

Ingredients

1 x 1.5kg (3¼lb) chicken, jointed
olive oil, for frying
2 onions, sliced
5 garlic cloves, sliced
12cm (5in) cinnamon stick, broken into 4 pieces
½ tsp turmeric
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground allspice
2 large tomatoes, cut into large chunks, or 1 x 400g tin plum tomatoes, rinsed and cut into quarters
40g (1½oz) raisins, soaked in boiling water
approx. 500ml (18fl oz) chicken stock
2 small whole preserved lemons, finely chopped
2 handfuls of coriander leaves, roughly chopped
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
To serve:
Couscous

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.

Season the chicken well. Heat a good glug of oil in a large, ovenproof casserole (with a lid) and brown the chicken in batches. Remove the chicken and put to one side.

Add another splash of oil to the casserole. Add the onions and cook gently for 5 minutes before adding the garlic and the spices. Continue to cook for another 10 minutes and when the onions are soft, return the chicken to the casserole and scatter the tomatoes and drained raisins over it. Pour in enough stock so it comes about halfway up the chicken, bring to the boil, put the lid on the casserole and braise in the oven for 1½ hours, until the chicken is tender and cooked through. Remove the cinnamon, then stir in the preserved lemon and the coriander leaves.

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