For years, there has been such a wealth of recipes on my list of things to make, that pretty much every time I ate (at least, when this was a regular thing), it was something new. It still is fairly often, but the dust has settled a bit so that there are times when I can come back to recipes I particularly liked. This is nice! And very novel, but my palms are starting to sweat. I must not become routine in my cooking! I know there are thousands more recipes to write up a NEW list of things to make… but it’s such an intimidating task! I have many cook books and even more magazines. To get through all these (which would be what I had to do – I can’t start something and not finish it fastidiously!) would take a long time, resulting in back ache and blistered hands, but also a fresh new port of call for ‘what do I cook tonight?’ inspiration. Well, the holidays are coming up I suppose…
Got a bit carried away there. All I really meant to say was that this is one of those recipes I have cooked before and loved, so I have returned to it, tweaking it to suit my tastes 100%. It is a recipe from Ghillie Basan’s Tagines and Couscous (a fantastic book) with a few changes via me.
I have written previously about how to make preserved lemons. It is another quite rambly post, but the main point to bear in mind when making this (or any) recipe is that shop-brought preserved lemons are much smaller than home-made, so you have to adjust the amount you use accordingly. Always give them a rinse before using, to rid them of excess salt.
- 4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
- 1 shop-brought or 1/2 home-made preserved lemon, cut into thin strips
- 1 green bell pepper, halved, deseeded and sliced
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- couscous, to serve
For the Marinade
- 1 small onion, grated
- 1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- about 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- small pinch of saffron strands
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- small bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped
- good pinch of sea salt
- Mix all of the marinade ingredients together in a bowl and put the chicken thighs in a shallow dish. Pour the marinade over the chicken, rubbing it into the skin. Cover and chill for 1-2 hours (or as long as you have time for).
- Put a tagine or heavy-based casserole over medium heat, then brown the chicken thighs (with as scant a covering of marinade as possible) all over. Pour over the rest of the marinade and add enough water to come halfway up the sides of the chicken. Bring the water to the boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, turning the chicken occasionally.
- Add the preserved lemon, green pepper and dried thyme. Cover again and simmer for 15 minutes more. You want some liquid left to seep into the couscous and make everything beautifully moist, but by now it should be much reduced. Serve with couscous.
P.S: It is the tenderest chicken ever!!