Spicy Chicken Leg Quarters With Preserved Lemon

chicken quarters

Chicken quarters in cast iron pan

I took out some chicken leg quarters (legs with back attached) out of the freezer the other day to defrost as I was going to cook them up yesterday. However, yesterday I came down with a wicked tooth ache and could eat nothing although I was starving. As my father used to say, “I’m so hungry, me belly thinks me throat is cut.”

When I woke up this morning, the toothache had subsided considerably and after a quick breakfast, I decided I was going to cook those chicken legs for my lunch.  I had no recipe, and just decided to try something along an old standard of mine, but with the addition of Moroccan preserved lemon.

If you’ve never heard of preserved lemon, you might want to look into making some for yourself. I had never heard of it myself until recently, and being curious, made a big batch up. It adds a wonderful lemony taste that is hard to explain, but much better than a regular lemon does. You can find out more about Moroccan preserved lemons here.

I also love using cast iron for my cooking, and I made this in a cast iron frying pan. They are fantastic because you can use them both on top of the stove or in the oven, and I think they give food a subtle taste that I enjoy. The particular frying pan I used will fit the lid of a cast iron Dutch oven that I own.


  • 3 Chicken leg quarters
  • Olive Oil (I didn’t measure)
  • 1 Teaspoon cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 Teaspoon gara masala
  • 1 Teaspoon paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1″ of ginger root, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 green pepper, sliced
  • Pulp from 1/2 preserved lemon, finely chopped


Preheat oven to 350F.

Pour enough olive oil into the skillet or frying pan to completely cover the bottom and heat on medium on a stove burner. When oil is hot, add the cumin, turmeric, gara masala, and paprika and mix well.  Add the oregano and continue to mix well. You want to have enough oil that you will be able to spoon it and drizzle over the chicken.

Add the garlic, ginger, preserved lemon pulp, and diced tomato and stir well as the tomato heats up.

Put the chicken legs in the skillet and brown both sides. After you’ve turned them, drizzle some of the oil with spices and preserved lemon over top of the chicken.

Add the leeks and green pepper on top of the chicken.

Cover with a lid and put into the oven for one hour.

I had this with jasmine rice and I drizzled some of the oil over the rice and the whole thing was delicious!