I've been wanting to try this in my slow cooker since coming back from Morocco and although it's not quite as good as the one we ate there, it's not bad at all !
This was my first foray into using preserved lemons or "citrons confits".
They come in a tub of brine so they're very squidgy but release a wonderful burst of lemon zingy fragrance when you cut them in half. Be warned, they're very tart though !
I also got to break open the bag of Ras El-Hanout spices that we bought at the souk in Agadir. I always think these bags will show up as drugs when they X-ray our luggage on the way home from holiday but we haven't been stopped yet !
Ras El-Hanout (which means "the head of the shop" because it uses the best spices) is widely used in North African cooking. According to Ali, our Moroccan cookery guide in Agadir, there are many versions of the spice mix - there's one for chicken, one for fish, one for vegetables, etc - but even from one stallholder to the next, the ingredients will change. Commonly used ingredients include cardamom, clove, cinnamon, ground chili peppers, coriander, cumin, peppercorn, paprika, fenugreek and turmeric. It's spicy but also adds a great depth of flavour.
So, on to the recipe :
Slow cooker Moroccan Chicken with Olives & Preserved Lemons
drizzle of olive oil
6 chicken thighs
3 preserved lemons
4 tbsp green olives
2 tsp Ras El Hanout
a squeeze of Just Add garlic, ginger, chilli and coriander
1/2 glass chicken stock
salt & pepper
Brown the chicken in a frying pan on all sides in a drizzle of olive oil. (This isn't compulsory but I like to give it some colour before it goes in the slow cooker.) Season with salt and pepper.
Chop the onions, halve the preserved lemons and put them in the slow cooker. Transfer the chicken to the slow cooker.
Add the chicken stock and the herbs (I cheated and used tubes but fresh would be even better !) and spices to the frying pan and heat, stirring continually, to scrape off all the bits of chicken stuck to the bottom of the pan and combine all the flavours. When it starts to bubble and thicken, pour the juices into the slow cooker.
Serve with couscous.
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