Quite some time ago 365Barrington hosted a Family Recipes contest and I was the lucky photographer tasked with photographing the entries. This recipe is one that I photographed and have kept in my cooking routine ever since.
It is easy to prepare in one pan and when it is cooking your entire house will smell delicious. It will even get teens to leave the comfort of their rooms and their social media to come find out what’s for dinner. So, I give you Moroccan Chicken with Lemon and Olives, originally shared by 365Barrington reader, Michelle Van Loon. This is what Michelle says about her recipe…
“This recipe has the rich, sunshine flavors of the Middle East. I found a variation of the recipe after a trip to Israel, and have served it during holidays and at other gatherings. People love it, and regularly ask for the recipe after tasting it.”
Moroccan Chicken with Lemon and Olives
- 4 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts and thighs
- 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced or crushed
- 2 small lemons, sliced thin
- 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
- 3/4 cup raisins
- 1 tsp. ground ginger
- 1 2″ cinnamon stick
- pinch of sugar, cayenne
- pinch of saffron (optional)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup water
- salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro and Italian parsley, minced
- 1 additional lemon for garnish (optional)
- Heat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place chicken parts, skin side up, in a large shallow roasting pan. Sprinkle with salt and garlic, then add olives and raisins in and around the chicken pieces. Tuck the cinnamon stick in the middle of the chicken, then add the water. Next, cover chicken with sliced lemons.
- Mix together ginger, sugar, cayenne and saffron, and sprinkle atop the lemons. Drizzle with olive oil.
- Slide the pan into the over and roast for 1-1/4 hours or until the chicken is golden brown, basting frequently and sliding the lemons around a bit each time you do.
(Important Detail: I cover the chicken lightly with foil for the first 45-50 minutes of roasting so it doesn’t brown too quickly.)
- Remove from the oven and cover with foil, allowing to stand for 15 minutes. Remove chicken to large serving platter and discard lemons. Skim fat from the pan juices, then add half the cilantro and parley to the pan and return it to the oven for 10-15 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick, add remaining cilantro and parsley, and pour over the chicken. Add remaining lemon, wedged, for garnish if desired.
Serve with Israeli (large) couscous or Basmati rice.