I stumbled upon this Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemon dish in Mod Meals on Mendenhall and I was hooked. I was lured by the simplicity of the food and it’s a nice break from my Filipino and Italian dish repertoire. But wait, where do I get preserved lemons from? So I turned to my trusty google and one of the links led me to Kevin, author of closetcooking.com. Surprisingly, the link wasn’t just leading me to how to make preserved lemons but also another recipe for this Moroccan chicken dish which is actually called a “Tagine” (pronounced tah-zheen). Awesome! So let me share what I have learned as far as preserving lemons. The dish? That will be another post (and boy am I excited to give it a shot and report back to you guys how it went)
- Wash and scrub lemons. Cut the tips and ends off of lemons only thick enough so you leave the white pith on. (Meyers lemons seem to be the more popular choice in most of the recipes I found but they said an ordinary lemon will do)
- Cut the lemons into quarters lengthwise stopping about a quarter inch from the bottom.
- Fill the jar with 2 tablespoons of coarse salt (I used kosher, it’s the cheapest coarse salt I found). Also salt the lemons filling in through the cuts.
- Pack the lemons in the jar. This requires a little elbow grease. In Kevin’s recipe, he used 8 lemons but I was only able to fit 5 in my quart jar. (At this point, make sure you don’t have any scrapes or cuts or in some cases, hang nail because the citrus and acidity from the lemons burn.)
- Top the lemons with more salt. Then cover jar. Turn the jar a couple of times and store in a dry cool place for 3 days turning the jar upside down everyday. Refrigerate after 3 days and it is ready to use in three weeks.
Quick question, though. Don’t judge me. What are Meyers Lemons?