Roast chicken with preserved lemon & braised vegetables

Roast chicken with preserved lemon & braised vegetables

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The pulp and rind of Moroccan preserved lemons is all you need to lift a pedestrian roast chicken into the realm of the exotic.

Ingredients (serves 6)

  • 2 preserved lemons (see Shopping Tip), cut in half
  • 2 kg free range chicken, giblets removed
  • 2 cups baby carrots
  • 2 cups diced celery
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ bunch flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and pepper, to taste 

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Scrape the pulp from the lemons with a spoon; discard the seeds. Finely dice the rinds. Combine half the pulp, half the rind, pepper and salt in a small bowl. Reserve the remaining rind and pulp.

With your fingers, loosen the skin over the chicken breasts and thighs to make pockets, being careful not to tear the skin. Rub the lemon pulp mixture under the skin and onto the breast and thigh meat.

Combine carrots, celery and onion in a medium baking dish or roasting pan. Sprinkle with half of the reserved rind and the remaining pulp. Add broth. Set the chicken on top of the vegetables. Tie parsley together with kitchen string. Place the remaining rind and the parsley inside the chicken cavity.

Roast the chicken, basting with pan juices occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 75°C, 1 ½ to 1 ¾ hours.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board; let rest for 15 minutes. Transfer the vegetables and pan juices to a serving dish. Discard the parsley. Remove the skin and carve the chicken. Skim or blot any visible fat from the vegetables. Serve the chicken with the vegetables.

Recipe Tips & Notes:
Shopping tip: Preserved lemons are lemons that have been soaked in a salt-lemon mixture for at least 30 days. Their salty sourness is a signature flavour in Moroccan dishes. Find them at specialty-food stores.

Recipe by Kitty Morse


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