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Moroccan Chicken

Storms have been the story of this week, spiteful bouts of wind and gales that left the road to Norwich littered with the debris of trees and overturned lorries. Our journey was strictly necessary since it was the football club AGM that evening, but thank god we negotiated it all safely. Amazing to relate the garden and meadow survived the storms unscathed, and looking out of the window on this beautiful afternoon (Tuesday) it’s hard to imagine it all happened. One casualty of the weather, however, was our match against Burnley at the weekend. We had already got as far as Blackpool airport when news came through on the mobile that it had been cancelled because of a waterlogged pitch. Well Blackpool’s a nice enough place in the summer, but there was nothing to detain us on a cold January afternoon so we went straight home. Only trouble is that, as luck would have it, we have to return to Blackpool this coming weekend for an FA Cup match. Needless to say we are studying the weather forecasts intently. Looking back on these recipes over the past year I have noticed that chicken has not fared very well – just one recipe in almost eleven months. So this week I am redressing the balance with this lovely combination of chicken and preserved lemons. The ones I use are Belazu pickled lemons (see picture), which are available at both Waitrose and Sainsburys.

 
 
 Moroccan Chicken

  Serves 2

Ingredients
 4 good-sized chicken thighs (approx 1lb, 450g total weight)
 1 fat clove of garlic
 ½ teaspoon salt
 ¾ teaspoon ground ginger
 ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
 1 tablespoon olive oil
 1 small onion, chopped small
 2 preserved lemons
 10 green olives
 ½ pint (275ml) dry white wine
 Salt and freshly milled black pepper
 Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 5, 375F, 190C and pop a medium-sized roasting tin in to pre-heat.
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Method

Start off by making up the paste: crush the garlic and the salt with a pestle and mortar, then mix the garlic paste with the ginger and cinnamon and add the olive oil, whisking gently to get everything well combined. Next put the chopped onions in a bowl, add a teaspoonful of the paste and toss them around in it so they are well coated. Now arrange the onions in the middle of the pre-heated roasting tin, return it to the oven and let them cook for five minutes.

 Meanwhile make a couple of slits in each thigh with a sharp knife, then rub the rest of the spiced paste all over each thigh. After the five minutes is up, arrange the chicken thighs on top of the onion in the roasting tin, and return to the oven for a further 25 minutes. Chop each preserved lemon in half, and then each half into three, and when the 25 minutes is up, add them to the roasting tin along with the olives. Finally pour in the white wine and season with salt and pepper. Return to the oven for another 30 minutes. Serve with rice or couscous and perhaps a green salad.

 

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