Chicken with Olives and Preserved Lemon
- SERVINGS: 4
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- One 3 1/2-pound chicken, cut into 8 pieces
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1 medium fennel bulb—halved, cored and thinly sliced lengthwise
- 4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- One 28-ounce can peeled Italian tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
- 1 cup Moroccan green olives, pitted and halved
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
- 2 small preserved lemons—quartered, pulp scraped out, peel finely julienned
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- In a small skillet, combine the fennel, coriander and cumin seeds and cook over moderate heat, shaking the pan, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool, then grind the seeds in a spice grinder.
- Season the chicken with salt and pepper. In a large enameled cast-iron casserole, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the chicken and brown well over moderate heat, about 10 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Add the onion and fennel to the casserole and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and ground spices and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes, olives and wine and bring to a boil. Return the chicken to the casserole. Add the stock and preserved lemons and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, then cover and cook over low heat until the chicken is tender and cooked through, about 25 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a platter and keep warm.
- Boil the sauce until slightly thickened, about 12 minutes. Season the sauce with salt and pepper and pour over the chicken. Garnish the chicken with the chopped cilantro and serve.
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