Chicken with Preserved Lemon and Green Olives

  • Serves

    serves 4-8


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
  • Salt
  • 14 cup minced fresh parsley
  • 14 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="">pitted</a&gt/;
  • 1 <a href="">Preserved/ Lemon</a>, rinsed and completely quartered


Step 1

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.

Step 2

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.

Step 3

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.

Step 4

Add olives and lemon quarters to casserole and cook, uncovered, for another 10 minutes.

Step 5

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.

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