9.07.2011

Roasted Chicken and Israeli Couscous with Preserved Lemons

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Finally the preserved lemon recipes begin. After waiting two plus months, I have popped my jar open. Now I have a month to use all these lemons. I've never cooked with preserved lemons before, so here's what I learned right away -- a little lemon goes a long way!

I guess I had assumed I'd be using whole lemons left and right. But, it's more like a quarter lemon here and there. In order to get through my jar, I must get creative and make at least two lemon recipes a week. Maybe it's because I'm so tired as I type this, but that sounds way too hard. I feel like giving up already. Hopefully, I get my act together and use every last lemon.

Getting back to my first preserved lemon success -- roasted chicken. This chicken was incredibly moist and tender, tasting of lemon and garlic. For my rub, I used a whole lemon and lemon juices, as well as two cloves of chopped garlic, salt, pepper and  fresh herbs like rosemary and thyme. I roasted the chicken on a bed of carrots and potatoes, which I also drizzled with lemon juices.

I decided to try my Thanksgiving turkey roasting method on this chicken. My starting temperature was 500 degrees. After 25 minutes, I lowered the temperature to 325 and roasted for another hour. Basically the idea is to seal in the juices at high temperature, while getting a nice color. Then, lower the temperature and cook as usual. This worked great on the chicken. Not sure why it took me so many years to give it a try.

Since I wanted to use lots of preserved lemons, I also made Israeli couscous (recipe below). I like Israeli couscous because it seems so much more substantial than regular couscous. And it's fun!
Lemony Israeli Couscous

2 cups Israeli couscous
chicken or vegetable stock
1/4 of a preserved lemon, minced
3 tbsp of preserved lemon juices
1/4 cup of chopped olives
handful of fresh chopped basil
salt and pepper

1) You're going to want to follow the cooking directions on your package, but first, heat your lemon juices, and toast your couscous. 
2) Then, add your broth, season and cook for 10 or so minutes, depending on the package instructions. 
3) Once the heat is off, stir in your minced lemon, olives and basil. 

3 comments:

  1. Why would you have to use your lemons up in a month? They should last a year.

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  2. I'm not sure, but that's what Thomas Keller suggests for this particular recipe. Maybe it's the amount salt used?

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  3. Waiting 2 more weeks for my lemons to percolate, then I'm making this! Except I think I'll adapt your couscous recipe and make risotto, since gluten and I don't get along. Oh, wait. That's a lot of carbs next to the potatoes. C'est la vie. We only live once!

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