Black limes, a staple of Middle Eastern cooking, give this amazing braised chicken an intense tanginess. Ideal for all seasons, it's delicious served cold as well. Plus: Andrew Zimmern's Kitchen Adventures Slideshow:  More Braising Recipes 

Andrew Zimmern
March 2014

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Credit: © Madeleine Hill

Recipe Summary

active:
1 hr
total:
1 hr 50 mins
Yield:
6
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

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  • 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.

Make Ahead

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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