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Moroccan Chicken with Couscous recipe

Moroccan Chicken with Couscous recipe

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Aromatic cumin, coriander and cinnamon give these chicken breasts a Middle Eastern flavour, and including chickpeas further enhances the ethnic theme. Courgettes and sugarsnap peas add colour and all the benefits of fresh vegetables.

34 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 450g (1lb) skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 large courgettes, halved lengthways and sliced
  • 1 can (about 400g) no-salt-added chopped tomatoes
  • 200ml (7fl oz) low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 225g (8oz) sugarsnap peas
  • 1 can (about 410g) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • For the couscous
  • 250g (9oz) couscous
  • 400ml (14fl oz) boiling water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 10g (¼oz) butter
  • pepper to taste
  • chopped fresh coriander to garnish

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:30min

  1. Cut the chicken on the diagonal into strips about 1cm (½in) thick. Heat the oil in a wok or heavy frying pan. Add the chicken, onion and garlic, and cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes or until the chicken turns white with golden brown flecks.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and add the ground cumin and coriander and cinnamon stick. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the courgettes and stir well, then add the tomatoes with their juice and the stock. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, put the couscous in a saucepan (off the heat) and pour over the boiling water. Add the oil. Stir well, then cover and leave to soak for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the sugarsnap peas and chickpeas to the chicken mixture. Cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Stir the butter into the couscous and cook over a moderate heat for 3 minutes, fluffing up with a fork to separate the grains. Season with pepper. Pile the couscous on to a serving platter. Spoon the chicken on top and garnish with chopped coriander. Serve hot.

Health points

Believing chickpeas to be powerful aphrodisiacs, the Romans fed them to their stallions to improve their performance. Although this reputation seems to have been forgotten now, chickpeas do contribute good amounts of soluble fibre as well as useful amounts of iron, folate, vitamin E and manganese to the diet.

Recently viewed

Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(2)

Reviews in English (2)

Very tasty and easy to make, I didn't use sugarsnaps or chick peas, but instead added a tin of drained butter beans at the end, it was delicious! I might serve with rice next time and even try it with pork, chorizo or beef (although not truly Moroccan!) but the sauce was so delicious it would lend itself to many other adaptations, many thanks for posting this!-06 Feb 2013

Excellent dish, bags of flavour, simple to do and very filling-15 Sep 2012

Recipe Summary

  • Chicken:
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 8 chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), skinned
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 ¼ cups shallots, peeled and quartered
  • 1 ¼ cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 12 whole pitted dates, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • Couscous:
  • ¾ cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • ¾ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¾ cup uncooked couscous
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds, toasted

To prepare chicken, combine first 9 ingredients in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour mixture. Reserve remaining flour mixture.

Heat oil in a large ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken cook 3 minutes on one side. Turn chicken remove skillet from heat. Combine reserved flour mixture and shallots add to skillet. Stir in 1/4 cup broth and dates. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until chicken is done.

Remove chicken from skillet. Place skillet over medium heat stir in 1 cup broth. Cook 1 minute stir in cilantro. Return chicken to pan. Cover remove pan from heat.

To prepare couscous, combine 3/4 cup broth, water, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon cumin in a medium saucepan bring to a boil. Stir in couscous. Remove from heat cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Stir in almonds. Serve with chicken and sauce.

Nothing better and more filling than a nice bowl filled with protein and veggies. All the goodness in one bowl. Easy to put together and so delicious you would want to make this Moroccan Chicken Couscous Bowl recipe weekly. They are perfect to pack on the go as well.

What are Moroccan flavors

Moroccan food is very well known to have very bold flavors. They are loaded with different spices to give them that bursting bold flavors. Spices used to make up the Moroccan spice mix are cinnamon, cumin, ground ginger, black and/or white pepper, saffron, turmeric, hot red peppers, sesame seed, sweet paprika, and aniseed.

Is Moroccan food spicy

Moroccan food is comparable to Indian food because most of the spices used in both foods are similar. Moroccan foods tend to be on the milder side while Indian food is spicier. Depending on how you make your Moroccan food will determine how spicy it is. But typically, they are mild in flavor but bold. I added a bit of cayenne pepper to make this Moroccan Chicken Recipe a bit spicy.

What exactly is couscous

Couscous is made from semolina. Semolina is the hard part of the grain of hard wheat. It is the main &ldquopasta&rdquo dish in northern Africa. Even though we think of couscous as a grain, it is actually a type of pasta! Also, find out how to make the couscous for this Moroccan Chicken Couscous recipe by scrolling further down.

I would love to hear what you think of this Moroccan Chicken Couscous recipe in the comments below if you make it and love it. It would be great if you take a moment and rate it as well.

More amazing recipes to check out:

  • Mexican Chicken Quinoa Bowl Recipe
  • Chicken Fried Rice Recipe
  • Fish Taco Salad Bowl Recipe
  • Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad
  • Easy Chili Chicken Tortilla Soup

Remember to subscribe to my NEWSLETTER for free and receive all my new recipes like this Moroccan Chicken Couscous Recipe delivered right to your inbox!

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Moroccan Chicken with Figs And Couscous

I love how easy it is to make this recipe. In less than an hour you could have a wonderful meal on the table that everyone will enjoy.

I am excited to share with you this recipe today, because I love to take you once in a while on a trip around the world without having to buy a plane ticket.

Trying a new recipe from a different cuisine is something I am passionate about, so today, let&rsquos open that spice cabinet in your kitchen and turn these pieces of chicken into an inspired ethnic dinner in just few minutes.

We are going to Morocco tonight.

This recipe uses lots of spices and I have to tell you that I did not go shopping for ingredients before I made this chicken dish.

I love spices, therefore, over the years, I was able to build a spice cabinet with everything you might think of.

I use these spices regularly in cooking and also baking, so it makes sense for me to have them around.

I truly believe that every household should have a basic spice cabinet with some of the most used spices.

Read here about what I have in the pantry, so you can get an idea about what I am talking about.

I also used dried figs. This remarkable fruit has been important to the Mediterranean region from early days.

The fresh fruits are wonderful in many recipes, but majority of figs, however, in the Moroccan cuisine, are consumed dried.

They are available almost everywhere in Unites States. I personally buy dried figs at Trader Joe&rsquos.

We have a store close to us and to tell you the truth it is my favorite place to shop for groceries.

However, dried figs are great to also have in the pantry.

They can calm down a sweet tooth, they are rich in fiber, potassium, magnesium and also iron. Overall, they are good for you, at least in my book.

I served this dish with couscous.

What exactly is couscous?

Couscous is a type of pasta that is used in many cuisines around the world. It is made with coarse semolina grains and durum wheat flour.

Semolina grains are sprinkled with lightly salted water and rolled with flour to form tiny pellets.

This is still done by hand by many cooks, but these days machines are used.

There are two different types of couscous that you can find in regular grocery stores in America, the Israeli couscous or the pearl couscous, and the regular couscous which is very small in size.

Each type is cooked differently, so I suggest you follow the instructions on the box.

It takes only few minutes to cook, so it is perfect when you want to put dinner on the table right away.

For this recipe, I used regular couscous which seems to be close to the couscous they use in Morocco. Perfect for this dish!

What spices are traditional for Moroccan food?

The most important spices of Morocco food are:

  • cinnamon
  • cumin
  • saffron
  • paprika(usually the sweet Spanish mild or the sweet Hungarian one are the most popular)
  • turmeric
  • black pepper
  • cayenne pepper
  • ginger

In this dish I used at least 4 of the traditional ones: cinnamon, cumin, paprika and ginger.

Doing some research about the spices used in the Moroccan cuisine, I found out that only dried ginger is used in their cooking, never fresh.

Do not use more than the recipe tells you to use, as too much dried ginger can bring a bitter taste to the entire dish.

How To Serve this dish:

This chicken can be served as a regular dinner, but I think it is a handsome option for entertaining also.

You can make the chicken with some time in advance and reheat it, but you will need to make the couscous fresh, before you serve it.

Serve everything on a big platter, placing the couscous as a bed for the chicken and sauce. Make a simple salad and serve it with your favorite white wine. Delish!

What kind of chicken parts can I use for this recipe:

I would say that you can use any chicken parts you like. I used boneless chicken thighs this time.

I think they cook fast and are also the most flavorful part of the chicken. You can calculate about 2 chicken thighs per adult.

Are you going to make this recipe? You will love it, I guarantee!

If you liked the spices in this dish, you might also like this Moroccan soup with chickpeas. A delicious soup that is perfect for the colder seasons.


  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • One 4-pound chicken, quartered
  • 1 cup chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup couscous (6 ounces)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup salted roasted almonds

In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons of the mint with the garlic, ginger, paprika, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne and 1 tablespoon of kosher salt. Stir in 1/4 cup of the olive oil and rub the mixture all over the chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the chicken, skin side down and cook over moderately high heat until browned, about 5 minutes. Flip the chicken. Transfer the skillet to the oven and roast the chicken for about 30 minutes, until cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a platter, cover and keep warm.

Pour the pan juices into a heatproof cup and spoon off as much fat as possible. Set the skillet over high heat and add the stock. Cook, scraping up any bits stuck to the pan, until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the pan drippings and season with salt and pepper keep warm.

In a medium saucepan, bring 1 cup of water to a boil with a pinch of salt. Add the couscous and dates, cover and let stand off the heat until the couscous is tender and the water is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Stir in the almonds and the remaining 1/4 cup of mint. Mound the couscous on plates and top with the chicken. Spoon the pan sauce all around and serve right away.

Recipe Summary

  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons paprika
  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 3 teaspoons minced fresh ginger root
  • 3 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • olive oil, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil, or to taste
  • ½ white onion, chopped
  • 1 cup pimento-stuffed green olives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper. Let come to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Combine chicken broth, paprika, cumin, ginger, turmeric, cinnamon, and 2 teaspoons lemon zest in a bowl.

Heat oils in a cast iron skillet until they begin to smoke. Add chicken thighs, skin-side down, and cook for 4 minutes. Flip thighs and continue cooking until skin is crispy, about 4 minutes more. Transfer to a plate. Saute onion in the skillet until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour chicken broth mixture carefully over onion scrape up any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.

Return chicken thighs to the skillet. Spoon some of the liquid over the thighs.

Transfer skillet to the preheated oven bake until chicken thighs are no longer pink in the center, 25 to 30 minutes.

Add olives to the skillet. Drizzle lemon juice over the thighs and garnish the whole dish with parsley.

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Moroccan Spice Mix

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely shredded orange peel
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground ginger

In a small bowl combine cumin, brown sugar, orange peel, coriander, salt, turmeric, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and ginger.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 whole chicken (4 pounds), quartered, skin on
  • 1 lemon, quartered

Place a rimmed baking sheet on the center rack of oven and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix spices, 2 teaspoons salt, 3/4 teaspoon pepper, and the oil in a small bowl. Rub spice paste all over chicken.

Carefully arrange chicken in a single layer on hot sheet, and arrange lemon wedges around chicken. Bake until chicken registers 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer and juices run clear, 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with pan juices and roasted lemon wedges on the side.


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