"In my next life, I want to be Moroccan. I just love the cooking techniques, the spices, the tastes. My elderly neighbour while I was growing up, Tovah, was Moroccan, and I'd often stop by her apartment to watch her cook (and to learn). the ingredients used here are certainly ones that could be found in many of Tovah's dishes, but I've combined them in a new way. The mint in particular adds freshness to what is otherwise a very rich dish."
3 pound chicken pieces with bone, preferably thighs and drumsticks
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken stock
2-3 heaping tablespoons of harissa sauce
2 tablespoons sweet Hungarian paprika
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric (optional)
1 each Perfect Preserved Lemon, or one fresh lemon cut into small wedges
10 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 fennel bulbs, cut into 1/2 inch thick wedges
2 leeks, whites and green parts only, or one yellow onion cut into 2 inch pieces
3/4 cup black olives, pitted
1 cup fresh mint leaves coarsely chopped or torn into pieces
Preheat Oven 350°F.
Slice the ends off the orange with a sharp knife. Stand the fruit on the cutting board and slice off the peel with just a tiny bit of underlying pith, following the curve of the fruit. Reserve the peel for later and squeeze the juice from the orange. If it doesn't quite make one cup, just mix in a little bit of store bough orange juice or even water in a pinch.
Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and set aside. Put the chicken stock, orange juice, harissa, paprika, cumin, and turmeric into a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot. Stir well. Throw in the preserved lemon, orange peel, garlic cloves, fennel, leeks, olives, half of the mint, and the chicken pieces. Toss together until everything is coated really well.
Turn the chicken skin side up and bake in the Dutch oven for one hour. Crank up the temperature of the oven to 425°F, remove the lid, and allow the skin to get crisp and the juices to reduce, about 30 minutes.
Just before you take the pot to the table, scatter the remaining mint leaves over the chicken.