Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Serves 4
Okay, so this dish requires an initial investment in spices but it is YUMMY! You can find preserved lemons at most specialty grocers (Note to locals: Salamanders in Greenport carries them).

1 chicken, cleaned and cut into 8 pieces
1 ½ cups chicken stock
1 cup thinly sliced yellow onion
½ cup chick peas (drained and rinsed)
¼ cup golden raisins
¼ cup rough chopped preserved lemons – seeds removed
¼ cup olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ bunch fresh mint leaves
2 sticks cinnamon
2 bay leaves

Spice Rub:
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons salt (kosher or sea)
6 cardamom pods (green)
1 teaspoon ground tumeric
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1. In a mortar and pestle or coffee grinder, pulverize peppercorns, cumin, salt and cardamom pods until finely ground. Place spice mixture in a large bowl, add tumeric and flour, and rub spice mixture onto chicken pieces until well-coated.

2. In a Dutch oven, or wide low-sided heavy sauté pan over medium heat, add the olive oil. When oil is hot (but not smoking) add chicken pieces, skin side down, and brown the first side. Don’t move the pieces around. If you see smoke, the fire is too high. In 3 to 4 minutes, turn the pieces over and brown other side. Remove and set aside.

3. Add the cinnamon sticks and bay leaves to the pot and cook, stirring, for 20 seconds. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are lightly caramelized, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the stock, raisins, and preserved lemons. Return the chicken pieces to the pot. Bring to simmer and cover. Simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover and turn chicken pieces over. Add chick peas. Continue to simmer uncovered, until chicken is tender and cooked through, 10 minutes longer. If the sauce seems to thin, remove chicken and reduce sauce until it thickens.

4. Place the chicken pieces on a serving platter. Taste sauce for seasoning and pour around chicken. Garnish with mint leaves and serve with couscous.