Preserved lemons -- pickled in a brine of lemon juice and salt -- are important ingredients in Moroccan cuisine. Use them in chef Mourad Lahlou's Chicken Legs recipe from "Mourad: New Moroccan."
- 6 whole lemons, scrubbed thoroughly
- 1/2 to 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 6 lemons)
- 3/4 cup coarse salt
Place salt in a large bowl; set aside. Stand lemon on its stem end on a cutting board; cut down the center as though you were going to cut in half, but stop about 1/2 inch above the stem. Make a perpendicular cut, stopping about 1/2 inch above the stem, so the lemon is quartered but still in tact.
Holding lemon over bowl of salt, spread four quarters open and pack as much salt as you can, allowing excess to fall back into bowl. You should be able to pack about 2 tablespoons into lemon. Place lemon, cut side up, in a 1-quart sterile, dry glass jar, preferably with a neck that is narrower than the jar, with a lid or a clamp closure. Repeat process with as many lemons as the jar will hold (you may have to add some the next day when lemons are softer). Cover and let stand overnight.
Push lemons down with a clean spoon, add remaining lemons, if necessary, keeping in mind you may only be able to add another half or quarter. Add enough lemon juice to jar to completely submerge lemons. Cover with lid until just finger-tight or clamp closed. Place jar in a dark spot, but not the refrigerator.
Everyday, for the next week, turn and shake jar once a day to redistribute salt. Add more lemon juice if lemons are no longer submerged. Let lemons stand for 1 month before using.