Melly's Braised Holiday Chicken with Olives, Lemon and Apricots

By Leith Devine
April 19, 2016
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Author Notes: I give preserved lemons to friends, and my friend Melly used them in a recipe to make for Jewish holidays. It's different and delicious, a little spicy and a little sweet. I modified it by adding dried apricots.Leith Devine

Serves: 6-8

Chicken Marinade

  • 8 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 tablespoons garlic, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons ras-el-hanout
  • 2 tablespoons dried cilantro
  • 1 zest of 1 lemon (save for juice)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Combine all ingredients except chicken in a bowl. Combine thoroughly.
  2. Put chicken to a zip top freezer bag. Pour marinade over chicken, close bag and turn until chicken is coated. Marinate for 3-4 hours or overnight.

Chicken Braise

  • 1/4 cup black olives, halved
  • 1/4 cup green olives, pitted and halved
  • 1 cup dried apricots, cut in half
  • 2 preserved lemons, peels only, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add marinated chicken to a deep, heavy coated cast iron pot or casserole.
  2. Add olives, apricots and preserved lemon peel, scattering around the chicken.
  3. Pour white wine, chicken broth, and lemon juice around the sides of the chicken. The liquid should come up about 1/3 of the way up the side of the chicken.
  4. Sprinkle the brown sugar on top of the chicken.
  5. Cover and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until internal chicken temperature reaches 165 degrees.
  6. Serve with the sauce over polenta or rice.

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