Experimenting in the kitchen is something foodies all over the world look forward to. For San Francisco residents, the local farmers market makes those experiments even more enjoyable. But those with a love of produce who live outside the Bay Area can still eat as if they’re within a stone’s throw of the City By the Bay thanks to Christopher Hirsheimer’s “The San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market Cookbook” (Chronicle Books). The book is filled with a host of farmers’ market style recipes, including the following recipe for “Pimenton Chicken With Preserved Lemons.”


Serves 4 to 6


• 8 chicken thighs

• 1 tablespoon salt

• 1 tablespoon Spanish pimenton

• 1 tablespoon butter

• 1 tablespoon olive oil

• 3 red onions, peeled and cut in half crosswise

• 1 preserved lemon (see box), cut into 8 wedges

• Freshly ground black pepper

• A few fresh thyme sprigs

Rinse the chicken thighs under cold running water and pat them dry. In a small bowl, stir together the salt and pimenton. Rub the chicken thighs evenly with the mixture.

In a large, heavy skillet, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion halves cut side down and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.

Turn the onion halves and cook on the second side until browned, about 5 minutes longer. Add the chicken thighs, skin side up, and cook until browned, about 10 minutes.

Turn the chicken thighs over, nestle the lemon wedges in among the chicken and the onions, reduce the heat to medium, cover, and cook until the chicken is tender, about 30 minutes.

Season the chicken and onions with pepper and transfer to a serving platter. Garnish with the thyme and serve.

Preserved Lemons

• 16 large Meyer lemons

• 1 cup coarse sea salt or kosher salt

• Extra-virgin olive oil

Have ready a sterilized 2- or 2-1/2-quart jar with a lid with a wire bale closure.

Cut 8 of the lemons lengthwise into eighths. Place in a large bowl, add the salt and toss together. Transfer the lemons to the jar. Juice the remaining 8 lemons and pour the juice into the jar to cover the lemon wedges.

If it doesn’t cover, you will need to juice more lemons, or you will need to turn the jar more frequently during the first week.

Cap the jar and allow the lemons to remain in a cool, dark spot for one week, agitating the jar every couple of days to distribute the salt throughout.

Float a little olive oil on top of the lemons, and then store the jar in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.