Mother of the Bride Spot

Random thoughts on being a Mother of the Bride...although since we are now past The Wedding, perhaps this would be better titled Random Thoughts On Life In General...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Chicken with Olives

With abject apologies, you are not going to get the really yummy "Poulet au Citron" recipe I have. That's because it came from the Chicago Tribune Magazine before we went to Morocco and doesn't count. That recipe calls for saffron and preserved lemons, neither of which are easily obtainable at your local Jewel or Dominicks (I checked).

Of course, I HAVE the preserved lemons (preserved, bottled and sold in Marrakech) and the saffron (teeny little threads in teeny little baggies) sold and packaged (I presume) in the wonderful and funky grocery store in Fes J'Did.

The reason I love this dish is because (a) for the most part, I can cook chicken. Or something that tastes like chicken. Or we can get Brown's Chicken on a Sunday night while we are watching 60 Minutes or Amazing Race (which Torrey & Chris absolutely HAVE to enter) -- but I digress.... (b) it has OLIVES. Now mind you, the best green olives (with stones) in the entire world come from Sevilla, Spain. Tim would get little packages of them and have them as his study snack. Quite unfortunately, he introduced us to said olives. Oh My Word. Well, they don't deliver to the US of A. I checked. Anyway, despite that, it has olives and if you can get the right ones -- don't bother with the canned Libby prepitted ones. They have to have the STONES (pits, for you Americans) in them. (c) I'm sure there was a (c). I just have to think about it for awhile.

Anyway, here is the dish:

And, for you Cordon Bleu -- or "apply-heat-to-food" cooks, here is the recipe from our "North Africa Recipes" booklet:

40 g butter
about 2 kg chicken, cut into serving peces
1 onion, finely chopped
1 glove garlic, crushed
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp flour
1/2 liter water (OK, I'm a nurse. I know that is 500 cc -- or about 2 cups)
250g stoned green olives, soaked for 1 hour in cold water. Let me assure you these are NOT olives that are drunk, OK? These are olives that still have the "stone" or "pit" in it. The best thing to have on hand is my very favorite in the whole world souvenir I bought in Sevilla which is a little dish for the olives which has a teeny cup attached for the stones.
2 tbsps finely chopped fresh mint or parsley (That would be tablespoons for those that are deficient in this area)
juice 1 lemon

Melt butter in a large saucepan and add chicken pieces. (Remember you cut up the chicken, or you bought thighs & legs for those of us who are crazy about dark meat, regardless of the recommendations of assorted dieticians in the US of A.)
Oh yes. Sprinkle onion, garlic and seasonings over the chicken. Cook over a low heat for about 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

NOTE: If you were authentic, you would be using a tajine (or tadjeen). But having never in my entire life seen a tajine at Williams Sonoma, we'll give it a pass. Try whatever pan you have that holds as much chicken as you think is necessary. Keep in mind that if you are going to cook this chicken according to my picture, it will be an ENTIRE chicken. Never mind the 'free range' business. I don't think the Moroccans have heard of that.

Mix flour to a smooth paste with some of the water and add to the pan with the remaining water. Sitr well and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Hey -- even I might be able to do this)

Stir in olives (my favorite part), mint or parsley

...and lemon juice. OK, from me: If you have the preserved lemons from Marrakech, add them here. Of course, I have no idea how much. Just add -- um -- some. Where were we? OK, cover and simmer a further 15-20 minutes or until chicken is tender. (Good idea). To serve (I hope you have gotten to this point):

Arrange chicken pieces in a large dish and pour the sauce over the top. Add more water if necessary.

I'm not sure what that means.

I'm hoping that someone that does more than "applies heat to food" knows.

Tim and I (he doesn't know this yet) are going to try this when he gets home.

Day after tomorrow, not that I'm counting. Uh, that is gets home. Not ready to cook yet. We are going to Red Lobster, home of the frozen, preserved and otherwise ready-to-eat lobster-which-tastes-like-crab-which-tastes-like-chicken.

Oh -- I forgot. Just eat with your hands -- right hand only, please. Dip your bread into the sauce -- oh my goodness.



At 7:42 AM, Blogger The Silver Fox said...

Sounds delicious. And we are so excited that Tim will soon be home! :o)

At 12:49 PM, Blogger An Ami in Berlin said...

Now THIS is my idea of good food. Olives, olives and more olives. The second-best thing to olives are capers. They taste great on pizza and make spaghetti sauce really have some pizzaz. :)

And I'll try not to fall, although on Wednesday I did trip over my pj leg and manage to land on all fours on the rug. Ouch!!

And BTW, you purple thingy looks absolutely fabulous. Can I have one in blue? Or maroon?


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