Preserved Lemons for Chicken Tagine

Preserved Lemons for Chicken Tagine

A jar of preserved lemons is so beautiful to look at that I sometimes hesitate to open it.Preserved lemons are an intense and sweet flavored Mediterranean condiment. I just use them in about everything.

I always have a few jars on my kitchen counter waiting to be enjoyed in my dishes, since lemons are abundant in California.

The jar will keep for a long time, since the lemon acid and salt acts as a preservative.

Ingredients for Preserved Lemons for Chicken Tagine

  • 4 large (about 6 ounces each) lemons (preferably thin-skinned), scrubbed┬á
  • 2/3 cup coarse Kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 5 large lemons) Olive oil (optional)
  • Fresh lemon leaves (optional)

 Directions for Preserved Lemons for Chicken Tagine

  1. Wash and dry lemons well and cut each into 8 wedges. In a bowl toss wedges with salt and transfer to a glass jar (about 6-cup capacity). You could add a few lemon leaves for a visual attraction.
  2. Add lemon juice and cover jar with a tight-fitting glass lid or plastic-coated lid. Remember not to use a jar with a metal lid as this will affect the preserving process and the metal may erode.
  3. Let lemons stand at room temperature for 7 days, shaking jar each day to redistribute salt and juice.
  4. You can add 1/2 cup of fresh water to encourage the process of preservation, with the addition of olive oil to act as a sealant on top of the lemons. These last two processes are optional.
  5. Store, covered and chilled.
  6. The lemons will then be preserved and ready to use.
  7. They last up to four years.


"If you run out of preserved lemons, or decide on just a few day's notice to cook a dish with lemons and olives and need preserved lemons in a hurry, you can use this quick five-day method Lemons preserved this way will not keep, but are perfectly acceptablein an emergency." With a sharp paring knife, make 8 fine 2" vertical incisions around the peel of each lemon to be used. ( Do not cut deeper than the membrane that protects the pulp.) Place the incised lemons in a stainless-steel saucepan with plenty of salt and water to cover and boil until the peels become very soft. Place in a clean jar, covered with cooled cooking liquid, and leave to pickle for approximately 5 days.

Health Note:

Lemons contain vitamin C, calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. Although too acidic to eat raw the use of lemons in cooking is highly recommended.

In addition, lemon juice diluted half and half with hot water, is highly anti-bacterial and makes a highly effective gargle or mouthwash for mouth ulcers and sore throats. Pure lemon juice may also be applied directly to spots or cold sores.

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