Quick Preserved Lemon and Oregano Chicken Bake (video)
I love cooking with lemons. It adds a fresh clean edge to any dish. Lemon, as a whole or juice is incorporated a lot in Arabic food. In the Middle East whole lemons are dehydrated and used in cooking stews, especially in Iraq and the Arabian Gulf region, while in North Africa, it is pickled and used in tajins.
This dish combines lemon, potatoes and chicken to create a simple and mouthwatering result.
The combination of chicken, potatoes and lemon, has made its way to most of the Mediterranean, Middle Eastern and North African cuisines, with many variations. The basic dish is easy, delicious, yummy, scrummy and fast to execute. Back when I was a child in Syria this dish was one of my favorite. The traditional Damascene method called for lemon juice and freshly minced garlic tossed at the end. The best part was dipping bread into the juices to soak up that last drop.
Lemon has its pros and cons. It is rich in vitamin C, full of anti-oxidants, helps strengthen the immune system and helps with bloating, to state a few. One of the few cons is that they can have their toll on teeth if eaten excessively.
The Moroccan and Greek cuisines have inspired me to infuse their classic touch into the traditional Damascene dish by using preserved lemon and oregano.
This makes a-fast-to-execute Ramadan dish that all the family will enjoy, but, most importantly, you will not sweat in the kitchen.
- 1 kilogram potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges
- 1 medium chicken
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 heads garlic
- A handful of fresh oregano
- 1 preserved lemon
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon juice
1. Cut the chicken into 8 or 10 pieces keeping the skin on.
2. Pan sear the chicken in a skillet with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until golden brown then place with the potatoes in an oven proof dish.
3. Fry the onions slightly and mix with the chicken and potatoes.
4. Slice the garlic heads in half horizontally and place in the baking dish with skin on.
5. Separate the pulp/ flesh of the preserved lemon from the skin and chop the pulp. Add to the baking dish. Chop 1/4 or the preserved lemon peel and put aside for later use.
6. Chop the fresh oregano, sprinkle over the baking dish and season with salt and pepper adding the lemon juice.
7. Add the remainder of the olive oil and toss the potatoes and chicken gently until all is coasted with the herb, juice and oil.
8. Bake in a 200c preheated oven on fan setting for 50minutes uncovered, then gently fold in the chopped preserved lemon. Return the casserole to oven for another ten minutes or until Juices from the chicken run clear when pierced with a knife.
* For a low calorie alternative just reduce the quantity of olive oil.
* Any combination of available herbs works.
* If you don’t have preserved lemons just add more lemon juice.
* This marinade can be used for grilling chicken on the barbeque.
Per Serving: 845 Calories; 56g Fat (58.7% calories from fat); 42g Protein; 46g Carbohydrate; 4g Dietary Fiber; 197mg Cholesterol; 447mg Sodium.