Carina Contini recipe: Chicken, apricot and preserved lemon pot

Thanks to flavour and spices, you can bring the world to your kitchen, says Carina Contini as she provides us with this mouth-watering recipe for chicken, apricot and preserved lemon pot

Published: October 5, 2015

Serves four

1 Fry the onions, garlic and the spices in the olive oil until soft.

2 Place the chicken skin side up on top of the onions. Add the apricots, preserved lemons and cover. Add the boiling water but be careful not to drown the chicken with it. Season with black pepper, and some extra virgin olive oil. No salt will be required, as the lemons will provide enough. Cover with the lid and bake in a hot oven at 220C/Gas Mark 7 for one hour.

3 Meanwhile, fold the yoghurt, spring onion, cucumber, salt and chopped red chilli together for the yoghurt sauce and season to taste. Transfer to a pretty bowl and sprinkle the sumac on top.

4 Remove the tray from the oven and squash the apricots and lemons to thicken the sauce. Add the coriander and pomegranate seeds. Serve alongside with the yoghurt sauce and steamed rice or couscous.


  • 1.8 kg corn fed chicken (backbone removed to spatchcock the chicken)
  • 3 medium onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 6 small preserved lemons, cut in half
  • 500ml boiling water
  • 2 inches of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 8-12 hunza (unsulphured) dried apricots
  • 2 small sticks of cinnamon
  • 10 whole cardamom pods
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 red chilli, halved, seeds removed
  • ½ fresh red chilli, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • a large handful of fresh coriander, coarsely chopped
  • ½ pomegranate, seeds only
  • For the yoghurt sauce
  • 200g natural yoghurt
  • ½ spring onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ cucumber, cut in half, deseeded and finely chopped
  • ¼ tsp of salt
  • generous sprinkle of sumac
  • steamed rice or couscous
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