Thursday, June 23, 2022

Moroccan-ish Chicken - Sponsored Post

Recently, I've been very into the flavors of the Middle East and North Africa. Kabobs; dips made with eggplant, beans, walnuts, and/or peppers; harissa; tahini; halloumi; yogurt - it all has me drooling. One of my favorite flavorings from this region is preserved lemon, a powerful lemon flavor that is also quite salty. I've been buying jars of whole lemons for a few years now and recently tried a jar of preserved lemon puree, which is much easier to use and produces less waste. (Most recipes call for using only the rind and discarding the pulp.) A spoonful of it added to a savory dish adds strong lemon flavor without
the mess of zesting a fresh lemon. Of course the flavor of a preserved lemon has a bit of a fermented note that makes it somewhat different from the fresh fruit. But it's still unmistakably lemon.

Also recently, I've come into a selection of Follain Nothing But Fruit preserves, including a lovely three fruit marmalade, sent to me by their American distributor, Bewley Irish Imports. A sample spoonful made me think of preserved lemon, albeit sweet, not salty, and I thought it could be nice to combine the two to make a glaze for baked chicken. A little bit of harissa paste for spice, and it was a real winner. Three ingredients. Couldn't be simpler.

Spicy Glazed Lemon Chicken

2 T Follain NBF Irish Three Fruit Marmalade
1 t preserved lemon puree (I used Casablanca Market)
1 t harissa paste (I used Trader Joe's)
5-6 skin-on bone-in chicken thighs

Preheat oven to 375F.

Stir first three ingredients together to make a spicy, citrusy, sauce. Set aside.

Place chicken thighs skin-side down on a parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with salt. Turn skin-side-up and salt the top. 

Bake 45 minutes; the internal temperature should be at least 165F, and the skin should be crisp with the fat mostly rendered. Remove thighs from oven.

Preheat broiler. Spread marmalade sauce over chicken and pop under broiler until sauce is bubbly and blackened in spots. 

Serves 3-6 people depending on your sides. I roasted baby potatoes tossed in olive oil and salt with the chicken and cooked some green beans. Olives make a good accompaniment, too. 

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