Chicken Simmered in Smen
3 lb Chicken; quartered
2 Chicken livers
3/4 c Onion; minced
1/4 ts Saffron threads; pulverized
Turmeric; to mix w/saffron
1/2 ts Freshly ground black pepper
1 ts Salt
1/4 c Parsley; roughly chopped
1/4 c ;Water
2 To 3 tb. smen
2 tb Fresh sweet butter
1/2 Preserved lemon
2 tb Fresh lemon juice
Place prepared chicken in 5 1/2 qt. casserole with the livers and minced onion. Sprinkle with the spices and 1 tsp. salt. Toss to coat evenly.
Puree parsley in blender or food processor with 1/4 c water. Add half the “parsley water” and all of the smen to the casserole. Pour in 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for one hour, adding more water if necessary. Remove chicken to a colander when very tender and keep warm while the sauce simmers one full hour.
Heat the 2 tb. sweet butter in a skillet; gently brown the drained chicken quarters. Transfer to a flameproof serving dish, cover, and keep warm.
Meanwhile, add the remaining “parsley water” to the sauce in the casserole and, by boiling rapidly, uncovered, reduce to 1 1/2 cups. Dump the sauce, livers, and odd bits of skin and bits in the blender. Whirl until the sauce is smooth. Pour over the chicken and reheat.
Discard the pulp from the preserved lemon and dice the peel. Sprinkle diced lemon peel over the chicken. Simmer 5 minutes, taste for seasoning, and add additional salt if necessary. Sprinkle with lemon juice and serve at once.
This is a classic dish from Fez.
From Couscous and Other Good Food from Morocco_ by Paula Wolfert. New York: Harper & Row, Publishers, 1987. Pp. 205-206. ISBN 0-06-091396-7. Typed for you by Cathy Harned.