Leafing through an old recipe book the other day, I was reminded of Moroccan preserved lemons. I used to be able to get these in the UK and, indeed, had sometimes made them myself. However, being short of both time and patience, I started to think that, in this land of citrus fruit, there ought to be a quicker way of approaching the taste. Then I started to wonder if I could get anywhere near it if I used cedri [citrons], which Sicilians like to just slice and eat with coarse seasalt. I decided to try and the result was better than I'd expected! Here's what I did:
Chicken in Prosecco with Grilled Cedro
First, slice one cedro into rounds as you would a lemon. [Sicilian cedri are enormous!] Halve the slices, put them on a plate and sprinkle with coarse seasalt and about ten grinds of cinnamon from a cinnamon mill. Leave them for at least an hour, then heat 2 tablesp olive oil on a ridged griddle pan and grill the slices over medium heat for about 1 min. each side. Stand well back when you put the slices on the griddle and when you turn them. Put them onto kitchen paper on a plate.
Marinate 6 - 8 chicken drumsticks [skin on ] for about 2 hours in 200 ml Prosecco, 2 tblesp olive oil, 1 tablesp honey, 0.5 tablesp Chinese plum sauce [which I have recently been able to get my hands on again and have missed], about 0.5 tablesp dried herbes de Provence, some sprigs of fresh thyme [lemon thyme if you can get it] and some freshly ground seasalt and black pepper.
Heat the oven to 180°C.
Lift the chicken out of the marinade with a slotted spoon but keep the marinade. Lay the chicken on a rack in a foil-lined roasting dish and cook for about 45 mins., checking now and then. When you think it is nearly ready, put the marinade into a pan with the cedro slices and about 20 preserved green olives, drained but still with the accompanying small vegetables that have been used to flavour them. [In Sicily olives are always preserved with slices of sweet Sicilian carrot.] Heat until the marinade comes to the boil.
Place the chicken on a platter , surround with the cedro slices and olives [removed from the marianade with a slotted spoon] and garnish with some chopped, flat-leaved parsley and some more sprigs of thyme. Put the marinade in a sauce boat for those who would like some.
Serve with garlic-roasted small potatoes or these from Nigella .