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Braised Chicken with Preserved Lemon

Braised Chicken with Preserved Lemon
The stigmas from a small purple crocus, saffron is the world's most expensive spice. Each flower bears only three stigmas, which must be picked by hand and dried. Only a tiny bit of saffron, however, is needed to flavor food and tint it with the spice's characteristic dark yellow color.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 chicken, 3 to 4 lb., cut into 8 serving pieces
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 8 shallots, halved lengthwise
  • 1⁄2 tsp. crushed saffron
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1⁄2 lb. Yukon Gold potatoes cut into
     1⁄2-inch pieces
  • Peel of 1/4 preserved lemon, thinly sliced
     (see related recipe at left)
  • 4 fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro sprigs
  • 1 cup pitted green olives

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 375°F.

In a large ovenproof sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown the chicken on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes total; transfer to a plate.

Add the shallots to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add the saffron and coriander and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Return the chicken to the pan, add the potatoes, preserved lemon and parsley and bring to a boil. Stir, cover the pan and transfer to the oven. Cook until the chicken is cooked through and very tender, about 45 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven and stir in the olives. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Serves 4.
Williams-Sonoma Kitchen.