The chicken in this simple but exotic dish from Yacout is so moist and succulent that its flesh can easily be lifted from the bones and eaten, Moroccan-style, with the fingers.
- 5 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1⁄4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1⁄4 cup minced fresh cilantro
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- Pinch saffron threads
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 (2 1/2-lb.) chickens, quartered
- 2 chicken livers
- 3 medium onions, grated and drained
- 12 oz. Moroccan green olives, <a href="https://www.saveur.com/article/Techniques/Moroccan-Techniques">pitted</a>
- 1 <a href="https://www.saveur.com/article/Techniques/Moroccan-Techniques">Preserved Lemon</a>, rinsed and completely quartered
- Crush garlic on a cutting board with flat side of a chef’s knife. Sprinkle with about 2 tsp. salt, then finely chop garlic and crush again to form a smooth paste. Combine garlic paste, parsley, cilantro, cumin, ginger, saffron, and pepper in a large bowl. Add chicken quarters and livers, stirring well to coat with herbs and spices. Cover bowl and set aside to marinate for 1 hour at room temperature or 4 hours in the refrigerator.
- Place chicken quarters and livers in a large heavy-bottomed casserole. Add onions and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to keep chicken moist.
- Remove chicken livers and mash to a paste with a fork, adding a bit of cooking liquid if necessary. Return livers to casserole and cook for another 20 minutes or until chicken is tender and thigh meat comes away from bone.
- Add olives and lemon quarters to casserole and cook, uncovered, for another 10 minutes.
- Remove chicken, olives, and lemon quarters from casserole with a slotted spoon and place on a platter; set aside, cover, and keep warm. Bring pan juices to a high boil and cook until a very thick sauce forms, about 15 minutes. Spoon sauce over chicken and serve.