Wrapped Chicken in Lemon Pickle Broth

This weekend morning was greeted with an intriguing and uplifting posting by a dear friend on Indigenous Food entering the restaurant scene in India. The steaming of leaves-wrapped food inspired me to put this together with this week’s CSA greens- broccoli leaves. The result was delicious!! The lemon pickle here is ala Moroccan Preserved Lemons– the soft lemon skin is part of the game (not just a flavor inducer). The broccoli leaves have more personality than spinach and the brightness of the pickled lemon in the light broth will blow you away. Enjoy!

Special tools:

Pressure cooker, steaming basket


  • 1 cup light lemon pickle (see Notes below for a quick homemade recipe)
  • 4 chicken thighs skinless, on the bone, wiped dry with paper towel
  • 8 large broccoli leaves (or collard), made pliable by wrapping in moist paper towel and microwaving for 1 minute
  • about 1 tsp turmeric (for color)
  • I large parchment sheet for en papillote steaming


Marinade the chicken and lemon pickle in a ziplock bag for 4-6 hours. Wrap each thigh with a piece of preserved lemon, a sprinkling of turmeric and salt, in a pair of leaves. Place the four wraps, seam side down, on parchment, sprinkle the leftover marinade and make a single pouch. Place the pouch in steaming basket and pressure cook on high for 15 minutes.

Serve warm with knife and fork (for chicken, preserved lemon, broccoli leaves) and spoon (for the broth).

Notes, hints, tips:
  1. Lemon Pickle: (Adapted from Archana Mundhe’s recipe). Pressure cook the following for 5 minutes under high pressure
    • (sour) 4 medium sized lemons, quartered and deseeded (as much as possible)
    • (sweet) 1/2 cup sugar + 1 tsp salt
    • (spices) 1/2 tsp chilli powder + 1 tsp cumin powder + 1 tsp coriander powder
  2. 1 cup is about half the above recipe. You can refrigerate the remainder in a mason jar.
  3. You could make the pickle a day in advance and marinade the chicken overnight. You can add more sugar, if you prefer. In fact, while the pickle is still warm, you can fold in additional sugar if that is to your taste.
  4. When blanched (microwaved) the leaves are a bright green, but with further steaming, it turns dull (not even with the acidity in the medium!!). Alas. But no compromise on taste- it tastes great!
    I did not remove the veins of the Broccoli leaves- it softens with the pressure cooking. But if using collard greens, you may want to remove the thick veins.

Pressure-steaming wrapped chicken:

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