Syrian Chicken

Syrian cuisine has many influences depending on the region and cultural background. This is unusual in that it combines chicken with apricots, figs and preserved lemon. The smallish preserved lemons are very different from lemons found in Britain and are preserved whole in brine to produce a lemony addition without the sourness. This is an excellent dish and highly recommended.


For 1 Continued...
1 chicken breast 1 clove garlic
¼ tspn ground cumin 1 tspn dried thyme
¼ tspn cinnamon 1 tbspn lemon juice
¼ tspn turmeric 1 preserved lemon
¼ tspn salt 2 tspn honey
freshly ground black pepper to taste 50 gm dried apricots (apxrox 8)
2 tspn flour 50 gm dried figs (approx 2)
1 tbspn olive oil 100 ml chicken stock
50 gm onion (prepared weight) 100 ml dry cider (see notes)
2 tspn ginger  



  1. Heat the oil in a wok or large pan and add the chicken, frying for about 3 min to brown on both sides, then remove onto kitchen paper and reserve.
  2. Add the onion, ginger, garlic and thyme to the pan and fry, stirring regularly, for 2 min.
  3. Add the reserved chicken, apricot, figs, preserved lemon, honey, chicken stock, lemon juice, and cider and simmer, stirring regularly, for 20 min, adding more cider and/or stock to prevent drying and to maintain the desired sauce consistency until the chicken is fully cooked. The chicken will be cooked when it is white throughout when cut at its thickest part..


  1. Serve with rice (see notes).


Optionally the dry cider can be replaced with white wine which would actually be more traditional.
It is quite common for Syrian rice to be cooked with safron, but a little turmeric could be used to provide a yellow colouring. It is also fairly common to include Syrian flat bread but pitta bread could be used instead if desired. This has been adapted from a recipe at

I'd like to know if you enjoyed this so please email – also feel free to ask for help.
The main ingredients
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The finished meal

Preserved Lemon
Preserved lemons
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