If you can't view HTML, you may view this newsletter at http://www.randomhouse.com/knopf/enewsletter/recipes/18_january07.html.

  January 22, 2007


Tagine of Chicken with Preserved Lemon and Olives

Zucchini Fritters


In the next issue, you'll find:

A recipe from Tapas (Revised) by Penelope Casas

Don't forget that all recipes that appear in this newsletter are available in the Recipe Archive!

      Dear Cooks,

Claudia Roden introduced Americans to Middle Eastern cuisine with her landmark 1960s cookbook, A Book of Middle Eastern Food. Since then, her cookbooks have continued to broaden the American palate and her latest, Arabesque, is one of her finest to date.

Arabesque features over 150 recipes of the best dishes from Morocco (couscous dishes, tagines), Turkey (kebabs, fillo pies), and Lebanon (mezze, vegetable dishes). Accompanied by beautiful photographs and arranged by country, these recipes can be mixed and matched to create interesting and delicious combinations of flavors.

Scroll down for two recipes—a Moroccan chicken tagine and Turkish zucchini fritters with feta cheese. These flavorful and simple dishes are sure to become favorites in your household.      

Best wishes,

Ashley Gillespie


"There is no love sincerer than the love of food."—George Bernard Shaw
by Claudia Roden

Knopf Hardcover

Order your copy online


3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 onions, grated or very finely chopped

2 to 3 garlic cloves, crushed

1/2 teaspoon crushed saffron threads or saffron powder

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1 chicken, cut up in 6 or 8 pieces

salt and black pepper

juice of 1/2 lemon

2 tablespoons chopped coriander

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

peel of 1 large or 2 small preserved lemons (see recipe below)

12 to 16 green or violet olives

Serves 4

Tagine of Chicken with Preserved Lemon and Olives

This is the best-known Moroccan chicken dish. It was the only one, apart from appetizers, served during an evening of Arab poetry and storytelling, accompanied by musicians, that I attended in a Paris restaurant. The olives do not have to be pitted. If you find them too salty, soak them in 2 changes of water for up to an hour.

In a wide casserole or heavy-bottomed pan that can hold all the chicken pieces in one layer, heat the oil and put in the onions. Sauté, stirring over low heat, until they soften, then stir in the garlic, saffron, and ginger.

Put in the chicken pieces, season with salt and pepper, and pour in about 1 1/4 cups water. Simmer, covered, turning the pieces over a few times and adding a little more water if it becomes too dry. Lift out the breasts after about 15 minutes and put them to one side. Continue to cook the remaining pieces for another 25 minutes or so, after which time return the breasts to the pan.

Stir into the sauce the lemon juice, the chopped coriander and parsley, the preserved lemon peel cut into quarters or strips, and the olives. Simmer uncovered for 5 to 10 minutes, until the reduced sauce is thick and unctuous. If there is too much liquid, lift out the chicken pieces and set aside while you reduce the sauce further, then return the chicken to the pan and heat through.

Present the chicken on a serving dish with the olives and lemon peel on top of the meat.

Variation Add 1/2 chili pepper, seeded and chopped, with the onions at the start, and the juice of 1/4 lemon (instead of 1/2) toward the end of cooking.


4 lemons

4 tablespoons sea salt

juice of 4 additional lemons, or more to taste

Lemons Preserved in Salt and Lemon Juice

In this method, which is considered the most prestigious and gives the best results, no water is used. The lemon juice, which is the pickling liquor, can be reused for further batches.

Wash and scrub the lemons. The classic Moroccan way is to cut each lemon in quarters but not right through, so that the pieces are still attached at the stem end, and to stuff each with a tablespoon of salt and squeeze it closed. Put them in a sterilized preserving jar, pressing them down so that they are squashed together, and close the jar.

Leave for 3 to 4 days, by which time the lemons will have disgorged some of their juices and the skins will have softened a little. Open the jar and press the lemons down as much as you can, then add fresh lemon juice to cover them entirely.

Close the jar and leave in a cool place for at least a month. The longer they are left, the better the flavor. (If a piece of lemon is not covered, it develops a white mold that is harmless and just needs to be washed off.)

Before using, scoop out and discard the pulp and rinse the lemon peel under the tap to get rid of the salt.


1 large onion, coarsely chopped

3 tablespoons vegetable or sunflower oil, plus more for frying

1 pound zucchini, finely chopped

3 eggs

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

black pepper

2 to 3 sprigs of mint, chopped

2 to 3 sprigs of dill, chopped

7 ounces feta cheese, mashed with a fork

Serves 4

Zucchini Fritters

Fried onions, feta cheese, and herbs lift what is otherwise a bland vegetable. These little fritters can be served hot or cold. They can be made in advance and reheated.

Fry the onion in 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat until it is soft and lightly colored. Add the zucchini and sauté, stirring, until they, too, are soft.

In a bowl, beat the eggs with the flour until well blended. Add pepper (there is no need of salt because the feta cheese is very salty) and the chopped herbs, and mix well. Fold the mashed feta into the eggs, together with the cooked onions and zucchini.

Film the bottom of a preferably nonstick frying pan with oil and pour in the mixture by the half ladle (or 2 tablespoons) to make a few fritters at a time. Turn each over once, and cook until both sides are browned a little. Drain on paper towels.

Recipes excerpted from ARABESQUE by Claudia Roden. Copyright 2005 by Claudia Roden. Photographs copyright 2005 by Jason Lowe. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

You received this newsletter because you have subscribed to our mailing list.
To unsubscribe, send a blank message to unsub_knopfrecipes@info.randomhouse.com
If you received this newsletter as a forward and wish to subscribe, send a blank message to sub_knopfrecipes@info.randomhouse.com