Last week I remembered that I used to make this dish a lot and we’d always really enjoyed it. Somehow I’d forgotten about it. It’ll definitely be a favourite again. I’d describe the flavour combination as south of France mixed with a little French Moroccan.
Ingredients and Method (for 6)
The day before (or at least in the morning) marinate 6 whole chicken thighs and drumsticks in a mix of 150ml extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp of turmeric, 1 tbsp sweet paprika, sea salt and pepper. If using Spanish sweet smoked paprika I suggest you start with less than 1 tbsp as it can often overpower all other flavours. It depends on your taste.
Rub the mix all over the chicken pieces, cover and refrigerate overnight.
The next day
Brown the chicken in the oil from the marinade in a flameproof dish. Set the pieces aside.
If there seems to be too much oil in the dish drain a little off. Add 4 chopped onions and cook till soft. (Optional extra to add with the onion – 1 cored and de-seeded red or yellow pepper chopped into small pieces).
Add 5-6 cloves of crushed garlic. Cook for a minute then add 1 tbsp of tomato paste and 4 large peeled and de-seeded fresh tomatoes or a tin of chopped tomatoes in juice.
Add a peeled and grated piece of fresh ginger (about 3-4 cms).
Simmer for 10 minutes and then add the juice of 2 lemons.
Return the chicken pieces to the dish.
Cover and cook in a moderate oven till the chicken is tender but not falling apart (about 45 minutes). Check the chicken half way through. If it doesn’t seem as though there is enough liquid add a little chicken stock.
Just before it’s ready add a few black and green stoned olives. I like to use the dry cured Provençal style olives. Taste and season remembering that the olives and preserved lemons will add saltiness.
Remove from the oven and garnish with a few preserved lemon pieces. Cut 2-3 lemons into quarters, remove the fleshly interior and cut the quarters in half.
Serve with plain steamed rice or couscous and a green salad.