Last winter, I bought a jar of preserved lemons for about $5.00 at Central Market to add to my chicken tangine that was on my menu for a special dinner for friends. The lemons really made the dish along with the fresh herbs and spices and really good green olives but I thought the price tag for the lemons outrageous. This summer, I had a bowl of lemons and clementines just ripe for making preserved lemons and clementines.
I first cut the fruit into quarters, plopped them into a dutch oven and boil in water until soft about 20 minutes. It’s smells like heaven.
Then, I let them cool and removed as many of the seeds as possible, drained the liquid and saved the juice for packing the fruit in the jars. I added a generous amount of kosher salt — rubbing it into the flesh of the fruit. I gave the mixture a squirt of agave nectar just for a bit of sweet and packed the medley into well sterilized canning jars. I lowered the jars into my pasta basket into boiling water and allowed it to “cook” for 45 minutes. I removed them, allowed to cool, and put a cute tag on them to remind me when they were canned and to share with friends. They make a really special hostess gift. I love hostess gifts! The jars are now in my dark pantry percolating in wait for a cold winter night and another feast of chicken tangine or as a special home-made gift for a deserving friend. Recipe for chicken tangine follows below. I don’t own a tangine, I just use a big pot.