Chicken Braised with Preserved Lemons and Cinnamon
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.
- 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:
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.