Chicken with Lemons and Olives

I rarely follow recipes when I cook. Even when I’m inspired by a recipe, I improvise massively, and just put in the pan whatever I reach for and think might taste good. We used to say as kids ‘what would happen if …’, so I ask myself if my meal would taste OK, or even better, if I put a little bit of x into y. So, I put all sorts of this and that into what I’m cooking, it turns out pretty delicious (Husband’s words not mine!) and he’s left guessing what’s on his plate.

Rijetko kuham po receptima, a cak I kad kuham inspirirana nekim receptima, masovno improviziram i strpam u recept stogod mi padne na pamet. I znate ono kad se djeca (nekadasnja) zamisle i kazu ‘ŠBBKBB (što bi bilo kad bi bilo…)’ ako dodam X u Y? Tako i ja kad kuham – i  onda ubacim svasta nesto, pa kako ispadne i onda Muz pogadja sto jede!

However, as I mainly cook northern Mediterranean style – which is what I grew up with – I followed this North African recipe pretty much to the letter, especially as The Husband is lurking nearby and he wants it ‘just so’ (although he usually eats whatever he’s served, because he’s absolutely starving from the wait!)

Medjutim, kad znam da nisam bas vicna u receptima nekih drugih zemalja, slijedit cu recept uglavnom kako pise; pogotovo ako je Muz u blizini i ja kuham ovako nesto ukusno, onda je i njemu stalo da se drzim recepta (inace on pojede sto mu se god servira, jer je jadan toliko gladan od cekanja!)

What do you do when you have some lovely fresh organic or preserved lemons, brown or black olives, full spice rack, lots of fresh ginger and coriander in the fridge and the cupboards? This is one of my favourite recipes from my frequently used Mediterranean cookbook I decided to share with you. Thank you to Zubin blog for inspiring me after I emptied some of the dusty corners of my cupboards.

Sto napraviti kad imate friske ili prezervirane limune, crne masline, policu punu zacina, friskog djumbira i korijandar u spajzi? Ovo je jedan od mojih omiljenih recepata iz moje omiljene kuharice koji sam odlucila podijeliti s Vama, inspirirana Zubinim blogom, te praznjenjem spajze i/ili kuhinjskih ormarica.

Chicken with Lemons and Olives
From: Mediterranean Cooking by Jacqueline Clarke and Joanna Farrow, Hermes house, 2003
“Preserved lemons and limes are often used in Mediterranean cookery, particularly in North Africa where their gentle flavour enhances all kinds of meat and fish dishes.”
I used the quantities as in the recipe which are enough for 4 people. There were only Husband and I for the evening, but there was plenty of leftovers for some more (light) meals later in the week. We stored the sauce in a glass container separately from the chicken.
So here is the recipe:
2.5 ml / ½ tsp ground cinnamon /cimet
2.5 ml / ½ tsp ground turmeric /kurkuma prasak
1.5 kg /3-3½ lb (pounds) chicken / kokica
30 ml/2 tbsp olive oil /maslinovo ulje za kuhanje
1 large onion, thinly sliced / veci/veliki luk
5 cm /2 in piece fresh root ginger, grated/ naribanog cimeta
600 ml/ 1 pint/ 2½ cups chicken stock
2 preserved lemons or limes, or fresh ones, cut into wedges /ukiseljena ili svjeza limuna ili limeta izrezanog na kriske
75g pitted brown olives – I used pitted black olives in brine in/from a jar / crne/smedje masline bez kostica
15 ml/ 1 tbsp clear honey
60 ml/ 4 tblsp chopped fresh coriander
Salt and ground black pepper
Coriander sprigs to garnish
Tbsp = tablespoon
Tsp = teaspoon

LEMON-&-OLIVE-CHICKEN_spices LEMON-&-OLIVE-CHICKEN_spices-2

Preheat oven to 190°C/ 375F/ Gas mark 5. Mix the ground cinnamon and turmeric in a bowl with a little salt and pepper and rub all over the chicken skin to give an even coating. (Imagine you’re in a beauty salon and you’re giving your chicken a facial with gorgeous smelling creams etc. You’re enjoying yourself immensely with relaxing music and so is your chicken!)

Pregrijte pecnicu na 190°C. Pomijesajte cimet i kurkuma/indijski safran u posudi s malo soli i papra i utrljajte dobro u kozicu po cijeloj kokosi. (Zamislite da kokica lezi kod Vas u beauty salonu dok joj Vi njegujete kozu najdivnijim I najmirisnijim preparatima uz relaksirajucu muziku I u tome uzivate I Vi I Vasa kokica!)

Note: wash your hands REALLY well after chicken facial (handling your chicken) like you would after handling any raw meat or fish. Use forks or other handy utensils for your next step (putting your chicken into the pan) or WASH YOUR HANDS AGAIN if you’re doing it with your fingers!
Chicken_facial-2Chicken_facial-1Heat the oil in a large sauté or a frying pan and fry the chicken on all sides until golden. Transfer the chicken to the ovenproof dish.
Add the sliced onion to the pan and fry for 3 min. Stir in the grated ginger and the chicken stock and bring just to the boil. Pour over the chicken, cover with lid and bake in the oven ‘sunbed’ for 30 min.

Zagrijte ulje u tavi i isprzite kokicu na svakoj strani dok ne pozlatni. Prebacite tako zapecenu kokicu u tepsiju. Dodajte narezani luk u tavu i przite/kuhajte 3 min. Dodajte naribanog (ili sitno nasjeckanog) djumbira i kokosju juhu (kocka rastopljena u vodi) i promijesajte. Kuhajte dok ne prokljuca. Maknite s ‘plamena’, prelijte preko kokice, poklopite posudu / tepsiju (moze i s aluminijskom folijom, ako Vam je tepsija otvorena) i strpajte sve u pecnicu (citaj solarij!) na 30 min.
Tanned_chickenAdded_ginger Chicken_bath_prepChicken_se_toca
Remove the chicken from the oven and add the lemons or limes, brown olives and honey. Bake uncovered for 45 more minutes, until the chicken is tender.

Izvadite kokicu iz pecnice, dodajte limun ili limet (zeleni limun) izrezan ‘na barcice’, crne masline i med. Pecite nepokriveno jos 45 min dok kokica ne omeksa.

Lemon_honey_olives_cry-faceOven_stage1

IMPORTANT:
To check that the chicken is thoroughly cooked, use a skewer or a knife and pierce deeply through the thickest part of the meat (needs most/ longest cooking). If the meat is thoroughly cooked, the juices will run clear, NOT PINK. You can also use a thermometer. When the temperature reaches 75°C, it is thoroughly cooked.

VAZNO: Provjerite da je meso dovoljno peceno cistim nozem ili vilicom, ubodite u najdeblji dio mesa/kokice. Ako je ‘sok’ bistar, a NE roskast ili svijetlo crvenkast, meso je dovoljno kuhano. Ako imate ‘termometar za kuhanje’, opet ubodite kokicu u najdeblji dio, gdje bi temperatura trebala doseci 75°C ili vise.

Oven_stage1_results

Stir in coriander and season to taste. Garnish with coriander sprigs and serve at once. I usually have couscous, bulgur wheat, rice or boiled potatoes, and green beans or peas with it, but obviously you can eat it however you like. Buon appetite!
Coriander_spices-3Oven_stage-2_resultsUmijesajte nasjeckani korijandar. Zacinite i dodajte malo korijandara na vrhu po zelji. Servirajte odmah. Ovakvu kokicu najcesce jedem uz kuskus, rizu, bulgur ili kuhani krumpir. Sto se tice povrca, grasak ili mahune ili sto god mislite da bi islo uz to. Ako Vam se ne jede povrce uz ovaj recept ne morate, kako god Vam pase. Dobar tek! 🙂

Serving_suggestion

If the whole chicken is too much for one mealtime, separate the remaining meat from the bones and put the meat and sauce in separate airtight containers in the fridge. I prefer a glass bowls or jars with good lids, but plastic boxes will also work – or whatever else you have. Store the meat and sauce in the fridge as soon as they have cooled. I eat my chicken leftovers within 3 days.

SAFETY:

Surfaces: clean well before and after, use separate surfaces for meat and other types of food.
Tools: knives, cutting boards etc. – use separate ones for meat and veg.
Amounts / aliquots of sauce to reheat: aliquot it before reheating. Make sure it’s reheated thoroughly (reheat the daylights out of it!). Same for the chicken, reheat only once. So, only reheat what you will eat.

What are your favourite lemon recipes (I don’t mean baking with lemon)? Have you tried this or similar recipes? Share your experience of cooking with lemons!

Koji su Vasi omiljeni recepti s limunom? Kuhate li s limunom (ne mislim na pecenje kolaca) ili samo koristite limunov sok? Podijelite Vasa iskustva i/ili eksperimente!

5 thoughts on “Chicken with Lemons and Olives

  1. Mmm
    Jutro je 8:30 a ja na poslu čitam,proučavam i prevodim ovu divotu….a marenda mi je danas croisant ..
    šbbkbb da sam danas barem ponijela sa sobom čvarke,kulen i kobasice koje je napravio djed,sigurno bi mi bilo lakše a ovako ću do 16 h živjeti sa mirisom kokice kojeg si mi prenijela postom.
    Draga moja evo i kuharice od tebe-ima li nešto u čemu nisi dobra? Da znaš da zavidim Muzu…
    Btw pusa i tebi i njemu…uživajte u ovo Adventsko vrijeme u finoj papici a za Božić će sigurno biti ludilo od klope i kolača-očekujem detaljni izvještaj

    • Zlocesta curica kad tako malu marendu uzimas sa sobom za cijeli dan! 😉 😉 Nadam se da ces prezivjeti bez svojih slavonskih delicija s kojima bih i ja rado omastila brk, mljac mljac!
      Imas li mogucnosti na poslu za malu kutijicu ili slicno s nekakvim sjemenkama ili nuts ili sa suhim vocem, da ti malo utazi glad?

      • Ja da ostanem gladna sa marketom preko puta radnje….no way!!!!
        Btw taman i ako guram dan sa jednom šnitom kruha moje tijelo je dovoljno mudro da posegne za zalihama,od trbuha,bokova….

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