Braised Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemons and Green Olives

Moroccan Chicken with preserved lemons and green olives in braising pan 3

Realistic Cooking Ideas is celebrating its two-year birthday! It is a wonderful journey meeting so many interesting bloggers from around the world, reading your fabulous recipes and stories, and all the beautiful photos. I was humbled when more than 800 people followed my blog and I hope to continue bringing you my versions of recipes. In order to improve the quality of my food photography, I bought a Canon T5i camera and am trying different lenses and experimenting with lighting. There are some great instructional videos on youtube and I purchased Michael’s Digital Photography School crash course. I have a lot to learn about photography but it is definitely fun to keep practicing.

The Moroccan Chicken is a wonderful dish that only gets better the next day! My husband says this is an exotic dish from another land! It is delicious with wonderful warm, earthy flavors. I love all the spices and it is the first time I used preserved lemons. My inspiration for this recipe was from Molly Stevens book “All About Braising”. I would recommend to purchase her book if you want all her tips and wonderful advice.

This was my first opportunity to use my new braising pan I received for Christmas. It is always fun to have something new to use in making delicious meals.
New Braising Pan

To make it easier I used Gourmet Preserved Lemons from our local grocery store Wegmans. You can make your own but I am not sure I would ever plan that far in advance to let them preserve.
Gourmet Preserved Lemons

Moroccan Chicken plated

Spices
½ tsp Ginger, ground
½ tsp Cumin, ground
½ tsp Cinnamon
1/4 tsp Black Pepper, freshly ground
1/2 tsp Smoked Paprika
¼ tsp Red Pepper Flakes, crushed
¼ tsp Saffron Threads, crumbled (if you have them)

Chicken
1 tbsp Olive Oil
½ tbsp Butter, unsalted is preferred since the olives have salt
2 pounds Chicken Breast, boneless, skinless
(4 small chicken breasts, or 2 large cut in half)
Seasoned Salt
Black Pepper, freshly ground
1 Sweet Onion, medium, sliced
2 Garlic Cloves, sliced thinly

Braise
1 cup Water or Chicken Stock, low sodium
1 Lemon, halved
1/2 cup Cilantro
¼ cup Green Olives, pitted, rinsed and drained, cut in half
1 or 2 Salt-Preserved Lemons

Spices
Combine spices in a bowl and set aside.

Chicken
In a braising pan heat the oil and butter. Add chicken, season with salt and pepper. Once chicken is browned remove from the pan. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes to soften. Then add garlic and the spices and heat for a minute or two to release their flavors.

Braising
Add water or chicken stock to the pan to deglaze and bring to a boil. Add chicken, cover, and reduce heat to low cooking for about 10-minutes. Turn chicken over and add the lemon juice from ½ of the lemon and half of the cilantro. Cook the chicken on low for about 20-minutes.

Green Olives and Preserved Lemon
Be sure to rinse the green olives and preserved lemons under cold water to remove the excess salt. Remove and throw away the pulp from the lemons. It should be easy to remove if you use a spoon to start removing it from one corner and then it should peel off. Chop the peel into ½ pieces. Once the chicken has been cooking for 30-minutes add the olives and preserved lemon peels. Be sure to turn the chicken to allow it to cook through.

Sauce
Turn the heat to medium to reduce the liquids into a sauce. Add the liquid from ½ of the lemon, remaining cilantro, and additional salt and pepper. This takes about 15-minutes. Serve by pouring the sauce over the chicken.

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