TThe tantalizing aromas of intermingled garlic, turmeric and ginger here are the same as those that float over the food stalls every night in Place Djemaa el Fna, the main square in Marrakech that is occupied during the day by Berber musicians, storytellers, comedians, fire eaters and snake charmers.
The tart lemony flavors of one of the most famous Moroccan tajines work wonderfully in this bake. It is very spicy and can be served with regular couscous or with mashed potatoes. It’s the kind of easy dish I make when I have a lot of guests.
lemons juice of 2
olive oil 6 tablespoons
ground turmeric 1½ teaspoon
ground ginger 1½ teaspoon
honey 1½ tablespoons
dry white wine 250ml
garlic 1 whole head, cloves chopped
chicken thighs 16, bone in, skin on
capers in brine 120 g, drained
pitted green olives 200g
unwaxed boiled lemons 1 large or 2 small (see note below) or candied lemons, diced, discard pits
coriander 25 g bunch, leaves chopped
salt and black pepper
Preheat the oven to 160C fan/gas mark 4.
In a large bowl, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, turmeric, ginger, honey, wine, and some salt and pepper, beating well. Add the garlic and turn the chicken pieces in the mixture so that they are well coated.
Place the chicken thighs in a large roasting tin or baking dish that will fit them well, place the capers, olives and cooked lemon pieces in between and pour over the liquid contents of the bowl. Bake for 1 hour or until chicken is well browned and cooked through.
Serve sprinkled with chopped coriander.
Remark: To make cooked lemons, place whole unsprayed lemons in a pot of water to cover. Place a smaller lid on to keep them low while they float, and cook for about 30 minutes or until very tender when pressed. If you don’t use them right away, drain them and let them cool. Pack them whole, press them into a jar and cover with olive or sunflower oil. They keep well in the fridge for a few weeks. You can cut them into pieces or mix them into a paste.
From med by Claudia Roden (Ebury, £28)