Preserved Lemon Recipes

The first jar from winter’s preserved lemon efforts has been popped open and they’re turning up in everything. Aside from adding some welcome zing to end-of-week rescue pilau, the last two Sundays have seen more considered uses.

Baked Ocean Trout with Preserved Lemon

You’ll be making two things here: a stuffing for the fish cavity and a dressing for the final result. The two complement each other: the stuffing infusing the fish in the cooking, the dressing allowing the final dish to have a freshness of flavour.

Serves 6

1.2kg whole ocean trout, gutted and well-cleaned
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

1 preserved lemon, rinsed and rind only, thinly sliced
stalks from half a bunch of dill, chopped
half a red onion, thinly sliced
juice of half a lemon
1 orange, peeled, diced
a splash of white wine (optional)

half a red onion, very finely diced
1 preserved lemon, rinsed and rind only, finely diced
fronds from half a bunch of dill, chopped finely
juice of half a lemon

Preheat oven to 220°C (conventional). In a medium-sized bowl, mix all the stuffing ingredients except for the wine and season with pepper. Place the fish on a lightly oiled aluminium foil sheet large enough to wrap it up in. Salt the skin lightly. Pack the stuffing into the gut cavity of the fish. Splash white wine over the fish, wrap it in the foil (so that no steam or liquid will escape in the oven), place it on a baking tray and put in the oven for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the dressing by first quickly blanching the onion in some boiling water to mute its taste. Then mix with the rest of the ingredients and stir through a few tablespoons of olive oil until you have a balanced dressing.

Once the fish is baked, use a knife to cut fillets and a spatula to ease the flesh away from the bones. Serve skin side-down with the dressing on top. Goes excellently well with roast potatoes, sour cream and asparagus.


Chicken Thighs with Yoghurt and Preserved Lemon

Serves 2

2 free range chicken thigh fillets, skin on

half a preserved lemon, rinsed and rind only, finely diced
2 heaped tbsp yoghurt
2 tsp sumac
juice of half a lemon
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

To serve
half a preserved lemon, rinsed and rind only, finely diced
4 tbsp coriander, finely chopped

Clean the chicken thighs and cut away or cut through tendons and bone. Score the skin in a few places. Mix the marinade ingredients, using the salt to help crush the garlic. Pour the marinade over the chicken and rub it in well. Place in the fridge overnight or for a few hours.

Heat a frying pan or barbecue (I used a cast iron frying pan lightly greased with rendered chicken fat). Depending on the size of your pan, fry one or both thighs skin down first until the skin is well-browned. Turn and fry the other side for a couple of minutes until the chicken is only just cooked through. Remove the chicken from the hot pan, sprinkle with coriander and preserved lemon and cover with foil for the meat to rest and the coriander to slightly cook. Serve with fresh bread and a green salad.