I realize this looks like I threw some tomatoes on top of couscous and called it a meal but I promise there’s some good stuff in it. A friend of my mom’s gave me a jar of preserved lemons, I don’t know, months ago and I’ve been holding on to them just waiting for a recipe to fall into my lap. If you google preserved lemons, you get a mess of articles about how to make them but not many ways to use them so I didn’t really know what to do. Lucky for me a recipe showed up in my Google reader earlier this week and I immediately went to the store for chicken thighs.
This was obviously my first experience with preserved lemons. The smellâ€¦ oh my gosh, I can’t even describe it. It was almost like lemon candy, very sweet and yet still tart. I thought about saving all the pulp I scraped out just so I could keep smelling it.
This was a definite winner. Even my husband, who I was convinced would hate it, loved it! All the spices worked perfectly with the lemons and nothing overpowered anything else. The chicken was nice and tender and may have actually convinced me that chicken thighs are tastier than breasts! Next time I will add a splash of wine after sauteing the veggies and browning the chicken but other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing.
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 14 ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 2 preserved lemons rinsed and chopped (pulp discarded)
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoon chopped parsley
- Salt & pepper to taste
In a deep skillet or a French oven, sautÃ© the onion in the olive oil on medium heat until soft. Add chicken and let brown for about 2 minutes on each side. Add garlic, coriander seeds, paprika, and oregano. SautÃ© for another minute.
Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, water, cinnamon, and preserved lemon. Mix well. Cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the parsley. Taste first to see if it needs salt â€“ it shouldnâ€™t, because of all the salt in the preserved lemons, but taste to be sure. If needed, add salt and pepper to taste. Cook another 5 minutes without the lid.
Serve with rice or couscous.