A long time ago, I posted a bit about lemons.. fantastic little nubs of juicy goodness that they are, I also went on a wee spree preserving them like mad after visiting Esk River winery in upper Napier and sampling some of their wonderful preserves.
Cool weather leads me to a soothing reppetiore of comfort food, roasts and the like.. and nothing smells, tastes or whispers curl up with bowl and glass of wine like this chicken dish.
The dish came out of several similar recipes and varies a little each time I make it. I generally follow this one for Chicken with Preserved Lemon and Olives substituting stock and wine for water, fresh for powdered ginger, adding a bit of fresh lemon zest with the first lot of herbs and sometimes using galgal pickle, a preserved wild lime from India avalable in Middle Eastern shops, instead of the preserved lemon. There are no rules.. it is really all about individual tastes.
A word on the lemon or lime.. These vary but are generally quite SALTY. And the pickled limes are lovely but highly spiced. The similar citrus attributes provided by these interchangable ingredients to the finished dish will give a markedly different result. I prefer a more lemony flavour so I add a whole preserved lemon, fresh juice and just a quick grate of fresh zest. When using the limes, I add only a few pieces, probably half a lime in total, fresh juice of a whole lemon, half of the lemon peel. I am also a little more reserved with the lime because of all the other spices added.. which are fantastic but can overwhelm. Again, whatever perference determines.
This is an easy one pot dinner, great with the recommended couscous, roast potatoes or if desired, noodles. And tastes even better made a day ahead, if you can wait that long.