Chicken with Black Limes
- ACTIVE: 1 HR
- TOTAL TIME: 1 HR 50 MIN Plus overnight marinating
- SERVINGS: 6
- 3 black limes, 1 crushed and seeds discarded
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh peeled ginger
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 black cardamom pods, crushed, shells discarded
- 1 pinch saffron
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 1/2 pounds chicken thighs and drumsticks
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 3 medium onions, chopped
- 4 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
- Steamed rice, for serving
- In a mortar, combine the crushed black lime with the ginger, fennel seeds, Aleppo pepper, turmeric, garlic, cardamom seeds and saffron; using the pestle, finely grind the mixture. Gradually stir in the olive oil. Scrape the paste into a large resealable plastic bag. Add the chicken and turn to coat, then seal and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Remove the chicken from the marinade and season with salt. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the vegetable oil until shimmering. Add half the chicken and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until browned, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining chicken.
- Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the casserole. Add the onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened and browned, about 8 minutes. Add the stock, apricots, tamarind and whole black limes and bring to a boil. Return the chicken to the casserole, cover and braise in the oven for about 50 minutes, until the chicken is tender. Transfer the chicken to a platter and tent with foil; discard the black limes. Simmer the sauce over moderately high heat until reduced by one third, about 7 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice, parsley and mint and season with salt; serve with steamed rice.
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