I really like preserved lemons. They are one thing that is really worthwhile to make at home, because when you get them from the supermarket, they tend to come in tiny precious jars with a few lemon in them for $15. They are really expensive to buy and they are easy and cheap to make yourself. If you want to make them, check out my post to learn how. The large amount of salt means that the lemons will keep indefinitely in the fridge. Lots of recipes call for just the rind of the preserved lemons to be used but I like to use the whole lemons, the insides taste great too.
I like to turn them into a salty, lemony, spicy paste using lots of whole preserved lemons and a few hot peppers. This paste keeps for ages just like preserved lemons will. It's great blended into a vinaigrette or tossed into pasta with lots of garlic. It's also great rubbed all over the skin of a chicken before roasting. The salt in the lemon paste dries out the skin a little and makes it crispy and delicious.
This chicken goes really well with herbed harissa and feta carrot salad or possibly some roast potatoes tossed in a little harissa & olive oil. Yum.
preserved lemon and chili paste:
10 whole preserved lemons
a couple fresh hot chilis, finely chopped
In a food processor, blend the lemons and chilis until a smooth paste forms.
preserved lemon rubbed roast chicken:
preserved lemon and chilli paste
onions, garlic and lemon halves to roast chicken over
Rub the chicken all over and inside the cavity with a generous amount of lemon paste. Sprinkle on lots of cracked black pepper. Lay the onions, garlic and lemons in a roasting dish and place the chicken on top. Drizzle with a little oil Roast the chicken at 450 degrees for 1-1.5 hrs, depending on your chicken size, until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
Photo credits: Tyrel Hiebert