Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas

Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Aperitif, Main Course, Dessert

It was a lemony sort of day . . . 

From the aperitif

of a gin martini
(is there any other kind?)
not with olives
but rather with lemon
a Meyer lemon
a Meyer preserved lemon

The lemony flavor was good with the gin
and the preserved lemon was briney enough to be a good olive replacement.

Dinner was a tajine
Done not in a tajine
(for I won't spend the money for one)
(and I don't have a place to store one)
but rather in my Le Creuset pot
(It makes a good stand-in for a tajine!)

 Lemons and olives and chickens and Moroccan seasonings.

From Ina Garten -- so it isn't "authentic" but Ina's recipes are always good!

Moroccan Chicken Tajine

6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 t. ground cumin
1 t. ground ginger
1/2 t. sweet paprika
1 T. kosher salt (I used lemon salt)
1/2 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 large Spanish onion, grated (about 1 cup)
2 T. olive oil
1 to 2 preserved lemons, depending on size
8 chicken thighs, with bone and skin
Stems from parsley and cilantro, tied with twine
1/4 t. powdered saffron or 1/4 t. powdered turmeric and 4 strands saffron
1 cup pitted green Moroccan or Greek olives
1/2 bunch Italian parleys, chopped
1/2 bunch cilantro, chopped

In a large bowl, mix the garlic, cumin, ginger, paprika, salt and pepper, 1/2 c. grated onion and the oil.

Rinse the preserved lemons and remove the pulp.   RESERVE the lemon peel for late use.

Add the lemon pulp to mixing bowl.   Add the chicken.   Mix everything together and place in a large plastic bag to marinate overnight in the refrigerator (24 hours really gives the chicken the best flavor).

In a large Dutch oven, place the chicken and marinade; add the stems of the parsley and cilantro, the rest of the grated onion, the powdered saffron and 1 1/2 c. water.    Bring to a boil over high heat, turn down to a simmer and cook, partially covered for 30 minutes.

Remove the cover, stir the chicken and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes or until the chicken is tender.

Remove the chicken to a serving dish and cover with foil to keep warm.    Keep the sauce on stove and begin to reduce.

Slice the preserved lemon peel into thin slices and add to the sauce along with the olives, parsley and cilantro.   Reduce until the sauce is just a little thick.    This shouldn't take more than 5 min at the most.

Unocover the chicken and remove the skin from the chicken (It doesn't look pretty and who needs extra fat)   Pour sauce over chicken and serve.


More lemons and olive oil
make a great cake
which is truly one of our favorites.

Made not the usual way with lemon zest and olive oil
but rather

A jar of preserved Meyer Lemon in olive oil
drained and the preserved lemon used in place of the zest
Not quite enough olive oil so regular olive oil was added to get the right amount.

It's a moister cake
A great after dinner cake
And a great tea cake for our afternoon nosh.

And the flavors are much more pronounced using the
preserved lemon in olive oil versus the "regular" way!

Do you remember in the late 80's 
lemon pepper
hit the shelves
One of my friends used lemon pepper in everything.
Green beans with lemon pepper,
Fish with lemon pepper
Salads with lemon pepper
Everything with lemon pepper
So tiring that I ended up avoiding lemon pepper like the plague!

But I was inspired this week

To use this citron lemon cyprus flake sea salt

Not on everything
but I did use it in the cake, the tajine, some steelhead trout I fixed  earlier in the week.

It's a great salt and definitely adds that "depth of flavor" that we are always looking for!

It is Friday and I'm joining Michael at Rattlebridge Farm for Foodie Friday.


Rattlebridge Farm said...

My head is swirling with your beautiful meal! I'm going to try the Moroccan chicken in my skillet, for sure--yours looks utterly divine. And you cake looks so moist and delish! But that martini...oh, so frosty and cold with a warm, fuzzy center. I'm thrilled and proud that you were able to participate. Thank you so much for giving us joy, creativity, and great food. xx

Pondside said...

Oh my goodness, but this looks wonderful! I love anything with a Moroccan taste, so will definitely try this. I wonder if it is possible to find Meyer Lemon preserved like that up here? If not, I'll add it to my growing shopping list for the next trip south of the border.

Martha said...

Pondy --

a quiet life said...

oy, whatever you have on the bottom of your page with blogger makes my computer freeze, blogger hates explorer and makes my life miserable on purpose! anyway, i have no idea if this will post since its taken 6 tries to even get the comment box to open, but i enjoyed seeing your use of the mlw goodie box.

your chicken sounds divine, mary made something similar and who doesn't like starting with cocktails and ending with dessert!

i made the lemon poundcake that came with the preserved lemon label, EXCELLENT, you might give that one a try in your future too~

Cathy said...

Wonderful post, Martha. Chicken, lemons and olives are such a great flavor combination. I'm looking forward to trying a cake with lemons and olive oil. A slice of lemon in a martini was a grand way to start the evening.

Sarah said...

Martha, sorry to be late to your beautiful meal. My sister came to visit and cut my computer time short. But here I am, so thanks for saving me a place. Everything looks delicious. We will try the Moroccan chicken. I, too, made an olive oil cake. They are delicious! I didn't use the lemons in the oil, just the oil mixed with regular as you did. I'm making another and will use the lemons in the oil. Wonderful idea! Thanks for sharing the inspiration.