Saturday, March 17, 2007

Moroccan Chicken with Preserved Lemons and Green Olives (Page 359)

  • Date: Friday, March 16, 2007 --7pm
  • Location: Somerville, MA
  • Kitchen: Matty's Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: B

I picked this recipe for dinner last night because it was the first recipe I ran across where I already had all the ingredients. It was pretty good. Between the preserved lemons and the green olives, it definitely had a strong briny flavor. Usually I am not a huge fan of extreme brininess, but one of the things that I liked most about this dish was that its flavor was so strong that it really permeated the chicken. Often times chicken dishes like this just taste like chicken breasts with some stuff on top. In this case, the citrus and briny flavors distributed through the meat in a very nice way. I found the composition of the dish a bit odd. Even though I love onions, I didn't understand the overwhelming quantity of onions without any other vegetables. Matt's big complaint was that the flavor of the dish was very much dominated by the preserved lemons, which he doesn't like so much. I could see his point, although I like the lemons, and thought the citrus flavor was refreshing. Overall, this made a quick dinner which was more or less satisfying.

The Talbot workshop is coming up in a little over a week, and I have finally started thinking about the menu. Talbot is a math conference organized by 4 guys who were all graduate students at MIT together a few years ago. It's a week in New Hampshire, living in a big ski house with 25 or so other mathematicians, learning some topic together (which changes every year). A couple years ago, I seem to have volunteered to be in charge of dinners at Talbot. And so here I am, attempting to plan a menu. Cooking for 26 in a non-industrial kitchen is a bit of a challenge, so picking the right dishes is important. Some dishes that I love are just completely impractical because there isn't oven space or stovetop space to make them in that quantity.

It's tempting to do a lot of cooking from The Book during that week (especially the recipes that serve large numbers of people), but I try to keep the experimental food to a minimum. It's particularly sad to have made a dish that isn't so good when you quadrupled the recipe and have to serve it to 25 people! The real reason not to cook new recipes from The Book though is that it is much easier to make recipes you are familiar with when you are cooking in huge quantities!

To those of you who will be at Talbot: any requests?


vero said...

Let me know if you need any help getting ready for Talbot. I mean it.

Teena said...

Thanks! I may take you up on that...