Moroccan Mains: Chicken & Couscous

tumeric chicken

Moroccan Chicken

Serves 8
Ingredients:

2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast meat – cubed
1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon salt
olive oil
2 onions, diced
4-5 cloves garlic, diced
4 carrots, sliced ¼” rounds
4 stalks celery, sliced ¼” rounds
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger root
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
3 cups chicken broth
2 cups crushed tomatoes
2 cups canned chickpeas, drained
2 zucchini, sliced ½” rounds
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Pepper, to taste

Directions:

Heat a large saucepan over medium heat adding a little olive oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and brown in the saucepan until almost cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Sauté the onion, garlic, carrots and celery in same pan. When tender, stir in ginger, paprika, cumin, oregano, cayenne pepper and turmeric; stir fry for about 1 minute, then mix in broth and tomatoes. Return chicken to pan, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add chickpeas and zucchini to pan and bring to a simmer once again; cover pan and cook for about 15 minutes, or until zucchini is cooked through and tender. Stir in lemon juice and serve over the rice, plain couscous or the delicious couscous recipe below.

CouscousMoroccan Couscous

Ingredients:

1 ¼ teaspoons ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
⅛ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon ground coriander
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
1 red, green, or yellow bell pepper, cut into 1″ pieces
2 zucchinis, halved lengthwise and cut into ¾” pieces
½ cup golden raisins (optional)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
grated zest of one orange
1 540ml can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 ½ cups chicken broth
½ cup orange juice
1 ½ cups couscous
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint*

Directions:

Place a large, heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Stir in the cumin, ginger, cloves, cayenne, cardamom, coriander, and allspice; gently toast until fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in oil and onion, cook until softened. Stir in the bell pepper, and zucchini; cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the raisins, salt, zest, and garbanzos. Pour in the chicken broth and orange juice; turn heat to high and bring to a boil. When the mixture is boiling, stir in the couscous and remove from heat; cover, and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork, and fold in chopped mint.

*To learn how to inspect fresh mint, click here.

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Happy Birthday Mamma!

Happy Birthday

Okay, for those who might not yet have figured it out, it’s my mom’s birthday today! Happy 29th Mom! Okay, so she’s not 29, ’cause that would make me… well, impossible, but that is beside the point. The real point is that it’s her birthday and she should be celebrated! Last night she got to go to the symphony and this weekend she will be surrounded by most of her children for Shabbous (the ones who live in the city, those that live out of town… well, you’re just not trying hard enough!) One of the birthday traditions that my family has is the Friday night (or the whole Shabbous if you’re lucky) closest to your birthday you get to plan the menu. It is made up of your favourite foods, regardless of what they are. Regardless I say! Yes, so when it was my little cousin’s birthday, and his favourite food was chicken nuggets and french fries from a certain fast food establishment, my mother went out an got Styrofoam containers and ketchup packets so she could dish up “happy-meals” of her own for his birthday meal. Now while my mother’s tastes are slightly more refined than mystery “chicken” in the shape of a “nugget” (exactly where on the bird is a nugget found?) She does always make a request for beef-a-roni. The quintessential comfort food of pasta, tomato sauce and ground beef that you just can’t resist. Fortunately for me, and my week’s theme, my mother also loves Moroccan dishes, and will not be insulted if instead of a pasta recipe, I post today one for a exotic, flavourful chicken to be served with a couscous chocked full of vegetables and North African spices. Knowing my Mom, she’d be just as happy, knowing that she didn’t have to cook either one 🙂 Happy Birthday Mom! I love you!