Chicken with lemon and olives is one of the great combination in Moroccan cookery. the dish that most often seduces foreigners and turns them into devotees of Moroccan Tagines.
1 whole chicken, skin removed, cut into pieces
1/3 cup olive oil
2 very large white or yellow onions, sliced as thinly as possible
2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 teaspoon ginger
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon turmeric (or 1/4 teaspoon Moroccan yellow colorant)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled (divided – optional)
1 teaspoon smen (Moroccan preserved butter – optional)
1 handful green or red olives
1 preserved lemon, quartered and seeds removed or 2 thin slices of a lemon.
Mix the onion,garlic, cilantro, ginger, pepper, salt, turmeric, oil and smen. Add the pieces of chicken to the mixture , put in a pot, cover and cook the chicken over medium heat, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes, until the chicken is very tender and almost ready to fall off the bones (approximately 45 minutes) Keep the heat adjusted so that the chicken doesn’t scorch, and try not to add water as you cook; the chicken will braise in its own juices.
When the chicken is cooked, transfer it to a plate and cover.
Add the olives, lemon and saffron To the Sauce and keep cooking the onion mixture and sauce over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the liquids evaporate and the onions form a blended mass which separates from the oils. Return the chicken to the pot, and heat through.
Place the chicken on a serving platter, pour the onion sauce over the top and sides, and garnish the top of the chicken with the quartered lemon and some olives. Serve if possible with home made French Fries.