Braised Chicken with Preserved Lemons

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Robin Willis relocated from Portland to Spain over 17 years ago and he has become our favorite expert in the Spanish-style of simple home cooking. The author of "Bar Pinotxo" joined us to share one of his most popular recipes.

Braised Chicken with Preserved Lemons


  • Chicken legs (thigh and drum stick): 6 or so
  • Preserved Lemons: 2 or so, quartered (see recipe for preserved lemons) Make your own or buy from a Middle Eastern or Halal Market like World Foods.
  • Small to medium sized Mediterranean olives (Arbequinas, Nicoise, etc.): 1 handful
  • Medium Yellow Onions, peeled and quartered: 2 to three
  • Dry white wine: a cup or so
  • Rosemary and or Oregano: a couple of sprigs

In a large stock pot or cast iron casserole or Dutch oven, brown the chicken well on both sides.

Add the wine until it's about a quarter of an inch above the bottom of the cooking vessel.

Tuck the lemon quarters, onion, olives and dried herbs amongst the the chicken legs.

Bring to a very, very low simmer.

Cover the cooking vessel.

Simmer for at least 2 hours. I usually cook this for 4 hours. Longer is better.

Note: A crockpot works great for everything except the browning. You could brown the chicken independently and then transfer to one.

Serve on Rice or Couscous

Preserved Lemons


  • Smallish Lemons: 6 or so
  • Table Salt

Quarter the lemons but not all the way through.

I find the that this next step is best done is large mixing bowl.

Open the partially quartered lemons and force a hefty amount of salt into the opening. Don't be shy with the salt.

Place the now salted lemon in a large sterilized glass canning jar.

Repeat with the remaining lemons.

Add water until it's about an inch and a half up the jar.

Seal the jar.

Give the jar a couple of shakes to distribute the water.

Store in a cool, dark place for at least a month. Longer is better. Et Voila!