Preserved Lemons

 

Preserved Lemons

Preserved Lemons

Preserved Lemons

 I got this recipe straight from one of my favorite middle eastern cook books, Claudia Roden’s The New Book of Middle Eastern Food.  Fabulous book that I would recommend if you really want to learn some middle eastern cooking.  I am posting this recipe first because some of the recipes I am going to post in the very near future call for these flavorful little lemons.  Chad and I made these almost a year ago and are finally getting around to actually cooking with them.  And had I known how great their flavor was… I would have used them long before now!!!  I will definitely keep preserved lemons on hand at all times!

Ingredients List:

4 lemons (choose them with thick skins)

4 TBS sea salt  (I actually used kosher salt)

Juice of 4 or more lemons

 

Cut them into quarters but not cutting all the way through at the stem end.  Stuff each lemon with plenty of salt.  Put them into a mason jar and press them down so that they are squashed together.  Put the lid on and leave for 3 – 4 days.  By this time, the lemons will have started to release some of their own juices and the skins will have softened.  Press them down as much as you can and add more lemon juice to cover them completely.  Close the jar and leave in a cool place for at least a month.  The longer they sit, the better the flavor.  I can vouch for that since we waited nearly a year!  Before using them,  rinse them well to get rid of the salt.  Scoop out and discard the pulp.

*I copied this almost word for word out of her cook book.  She gives some other methods in the book but also states that this method gives the best results!!!  So… now GO preserve some lemons!!!

 ENJOY!!!!!

Below is a link to the cook book.  I would recommend picking up a copy!

http://books.google.com/books/about/The_New_Book_of_Middle_Eastern_Food.html?id=r723owliVz8C

Lebanese Chicken

Lebanese Chicken

Lebanese Chicken

Lebanese Chicken

 Looking for a spin on roasted chicken???  Next to just a GOOD roasted chicken, this is probably one of my favorites ways to cook chicken. I grew up eating “baked chicken”  and eventually started roasting chicken at a higher temperature with wonderful results.  This is one of the first chicken dishes that I ever cooked that wasn’t just a roasted chicken and it has such a different flavor.  Don’t be overwhelmed by the amount of lemon juice in the recipe.  Also, if you decide to dip your little finger into the lemon mixture in the beginning to “check” for taste… it is a little bitter!  Don’t be alarmed…  The way the chicken is seasoned along with the lemon mixture makes a perfect blend!  It is so easy and the lemon, garlic, and paprika have such a tart but pleasing flavor. The few ingredients in this dish make it easy and quick to prepare.

 

Ingredients List:

1 4 – 5 lb. chicken

Aprox. 2 Tbs. (or more) olive oil

Kosher salt

Garlic powder

Onion powder

cCoarse ground black pepper

Juice of 7 -8 lemons (save the lemons)

2 heaping TBS minced garlic (the jar kind is fine)

2 TBS paprika

1 cup white wine

1 cup chicken stock

On a baking dish, season the whole chicken with olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder.  Season liberally on all sides as well as in the cavity.  Spray a large cast iron skillet with olive oil no stick and place it inside your oven.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium sized bowl, juice the lemons and set aside the remains. Add the minced garlic and paprika into the lemon juice and mix well.  Drizzle the lemon mixture into the cavity of the chicken and all over the outside of it. Insert a few of the “left over” lemon halves inside the chicken. When the oven is hot, remove the skillet from the oven and place on the stove top. Turn the burner to high. Place the chicken breast side UP into the skillet (save what is left on the baking sheet. We will add this before putting it back in the oven).  Allow the back side of the chicken get a good sear on it … about 3 minutes but be careful not to burn it. Using tongs, turn the chicken over so that it is breast side down. Let the breast side sear for another 3 minutes. With one minute remaining on the timer, toss the remaining lemon halves into the skillet.  Pour what was left on the baking sheet over the chicken and pour in the wine. Be very careful here because a flame might come up!!!   Add a little chicken stock for some extra liquid in the skillet. Turn the burner off and place the skillet back into the preheated oven. Let it cook at this high temperature for about 15 minutes.  Watch it.. you may have to baste several times.   When it starts to get very brown on top, turn the oven to 325 degrees. Again, baste it with the pan juices (sometimes the liquid wants to cook out) Add more chicken stock to the pan. Let it cook for 30 minutes longer basting with the pan liquids a couple of times during the 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let in sit for about 5 minutes before cutting into it. I like to serve this with stewed lentils and a big green salad.

 Enjoy!!!

Lebanese Chicken and Lubi B' zyiat

Lebanese Chicken and Lubi B’ zyiat

Lubi bi Ziat

Lubi bi Ziat

Here is a link to the Lubi!

http://tastefulthyme.com/2013/08/27/lubi-bi-ziat/