As promised, here is the first installment of "Chicken with Lemon and Olives".
It's all thanks to this fabulous book:
Here is my much loved, much used and oft spilled upon copy of Paula Wolfert's wonderful book. You can get your own copy here and at 12.35 USD, it's a bargain.
The recipe for Djej Emshmel (Chicken with Lemon and Olives) is posted over at epicurious (link to the recipe and also some instructions for preserved lemons). I'm not sure if I'm allowed to post the recipe here so I'll just let you go the the link and you can print from there if you want to try this yourself. It's exactly the same as the recipe in the book.
My shopping mission was successful and here are all my ingredients. I got my two chickens from the Moslem butcher shop and they are free range hallal chickens...so authentic. If you can't get hallal perhaps you could try kosher but in any case you should make sure they are free range.
It is very important to follow this recipe exactly. Paula has written about preserved lemons and in her own words: "Their unique pickled taste and special silken texture cannot be duplicated with fresh lemon or lime juice, despite what some food writers have said." She is right! and if words are not enough to convince you how about this:
The picture is not great because it was getting late and I was losing the light but I think it should still be obvious that the fresh lemons (on the top) and the preserved lemons (on the bottom) are not the same. And in the case where you can't find these near where you live you can order online so now you have no excuse not to try them.
This dish has to be marinated over night (hence the installments). Here is the chicken before it went into the fridge in it's marinade of salad oil, saffron, ground ginger, paprika, cumin, salt, black pepper, and thinly sliced garlic.
Tune in tomorrow to see how it turned out and til then,