Sometimes it just has to be a plate of vacation. A dish that tastes of sun, of sea, that warms you from the inside. Claudia Roden is an expert when it comes to conjuring up the flavors of the Mediterranean on your plate. For decades she traveled the world researching the DNA of Mediterranean dishes and internalizing them.
One of her comfort food recipes is oven-baked chicken with olives and lemon. In this she captures the flair of Marrakesh with the aromas of garlic, turmeric and ginger. A dish that doesn't require many ingredients and is very easy to make.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan.
Mix together lemon juice, olive oil, turmeric, ginger, honey, wine, salt and pepper vigorously in a large bowl. Add the garlic and toss the chicken pieces in the mixture so that they are well coated.
Place the chicken thighs on a large baking tray, place capers, olives and cooked lemon between them and pour the marinade from the bowl over them.
Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour, until the chicken is well browned and cooked through. Serve sprinkled with chopped coriander.
Add the frozen artichoke bases to the mold with the olives and capers. You can get them in oriental grocery stores or online.
Place whole organic lemons in a pot and cover with water. Place a lid on the lemons that is smaller than the pot so that the lemons are submerged in water. Cook until very soft and mashable, about 30 minutes. If not using immediately, drain and cool. Place whole in a screw-top jar and cover with olive or sunflower oil. They will keep in the fridge for a few weeks. You can use them cut into pieces or pureed.
Basic couscous recipe
For 8 people, place 500g couscous in a large baking dish. Dissolve ½–1 teaspoon of salt in 600ml warm water (half boiling, half cold) and gradually pour over the couscous while stirring so that it is evenly covered. Let it soak for 10 minutes, stirring a few times, then add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and rub the grains between your hands so that they breathe and don't clump. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and slide it under the tray with the chicken. Cook with the chicken for the last 10-15 minutes.
The recipe is from the new cookbook “Mediterranean Kitchen” by Claudia Roden, published by Dorling Kindersley Verlag, 320 pages, 29.95 euros.
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