Chicken with Preserved Lemon, Chilli & Garlic Marinade

16th March 2018

It’s Wednesday night, you’ve got some chicken in the fridge and are feeling completely uninspired. Although so delicious in a roast dinner, chicken can be a bit boring, but not with this super quick, easy and delicious marinade packed full of really delicious Middle Eastern ingredients.

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Preserved lemons are funny things! Traditionally whole fresh lemons are packed full of salt and sugar, topped with water and left to pickle/preserve for a couple of months. The end result is a really jammy fruit, perfect for marinades, sauces and tagines.

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Whizz the lemons up with a couple of other herbs and spices and you’re on to a flavour-packed Wednesday dinner in next to no time!


6 chicken thighs or 3 chicken breasts
4 small preserved lemons
2 fat cloves of garlic
2 small red chillies
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 pinch saffron
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp runny honey
1 big pinch sea salt flakes


  1. In a small bowl, add a tbsp. warm water and add the pinch of saffron. Allow this to sit for 3-5 minutes.
  2. To a food processor, chuck in the preserved lemons, garlic and chilli and blitz until chunky. Add in the turmeric, paprika and saffron with the water it’s been soaking in. Once the blender has reduced it to a smooth and thick paste, taste. Add the olive oil, honey and salt to your preference. The lemons are already quite salty so you may not need any extra seasoning!
  3. Once you are happy with the taste and texture, pour it on top of the chicken and massage so it’s all well coated. Leave to marinade for as long as possible. If you have time, overnight would be ideal for maximum flavour, however 15 minutes would still taste pretty good!
  4. Place the pieces of chicken on to a baking tray and bake at 200 °C until cooked throughout. Serve with a crisp salad and fluffy rice or as part of a mezze feast.