Preserved Lemon: inspiring creativity

Six weeks ago at a Co-op workday, we made Preserved Lemons by simply salting and pressing fresh lemons into jars.  I regularly turned them and shook them, and opened a jar tonight.  They are ready! I used them in both a chicken dish and the couscous that goes with it, and this is absolutely delicious.  To use the lemons, rinse them off (don’t be alarmed if they feel a bit slimy) and chop them up.

just the peel, preserved lemon

You can remove the inside part, as I only used the chopped peel in the couscous. Because this is a salty condiment, do not add any other salt.  Put the peel in with the couscous, and add boiling water. (I needed something easy, as this is a busy day here, although not as busy as those people dealing with getting a tree off one’s house. Perspective!) For the chicken dish, brown chunks of boneless skinless chicken breast, then add chopped celery, red bell pepper, onion and garlic, seasoning it all with a little salt and pepper, and some cayenne and chili pepper for flavor. Once that all sautes, add tomato paste and some boiling water. Put the lid on, bring it to a merry boil, then add the chopped lemon pickle.

chicken with celery, onions, bell pepper, garlic, tomato paste and lemon pickle

I used both the peel and the inner part I saved from the couscous.  Cook covered for about an hour, then uncover.  Let it all cook down, until the chicken is shreddy  and the vegetables are soft and limp and most of the liquid is gone.  Just splendid, the lemon is such a subtle flavor you can’t always place it, but it just works together.

couscous with lemon pickle, enhancing the lemon pickle in the chicken dish

Of course, there are myriad applications for this, and some even just use a thin slice in a martini in lieu of an olive. Co-op members will have fun with this one. You’ll find more recipes on the recipes page when everyone starts using it.



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