The long cooking times for many Moroccan main dishes are great for adapting to slowcookers, which takes longer than the recipes but gets the food put away for a couple hours to attend to salads and side dishes, as well as friendly conversation. This paired extremely well with Pat's Berber Kale, Tzatziki, Parsnip Hommous and some Nigella-scented Moroccan Rolls.
Roast Chicken with Preserved Lemon Sauce
preparation time: 20-30 minutes
cooking time: 2 hours
2 cups hot water or chicken broth
several saffron threads
1 free-range chicken, cleaned and dried*
2 heaping tsp whole nigella seeds - one tsp crushed
6 Tbl olive oil
2 onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 large preserved Meyer lemon, quartered**
- In a bowl, add the saffron to the hot water or broth. Set aside.
- Rub the chicken with 1 tsp of crushed nigella seeds.
- Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat.
- Add the onions, ginger, salt, pepper and chicken.
- Brown the chicken on all sides, about 5 minutes per side.
- Remove the chicken to the insert of a slowcooker, breast-side up.
- Add the saffron, cilantro, whole nigella seeds, and preserved lemon to the onion and oil mixture. Stir until just heated.
- Pour onion mixture over chicken in slowcooker.
- Cover and set on HIGH for 2 hours.
- To serve, place the chicken on a warmed platter. Skim off the top layer of oil and reserve for a dipping oil (heaven in a dish, really). Pour remaining sauce over the chicken and dig in.
**The preserved lemons are Meyer lemons with a Safi spicing recommended by Paula Wolfert - ours are nearly a year old and have a great perfume with a lot of sour, bitter and salty flavors.