Moroccan Couscous | Fall Recipe

This is my favorite fall recipe of all time! It’s so warming, nourishing and healthy; it’s perfect for cool autumn days or for a cozy dinner with friends. I have my dear friend Laura and her husband to thank for sharing this recipe for me. Though the following recipe is altered from the traditional way Noureddine made his, it still turns out pretty good, but nothing compared to the original! I’d like to point out a couple differences between my version and his: firstly, I repeatedly forget to add cilantro to my recipe, but that is in the original one. Secondly, and more importantly, I make mine more like a soup or stew, whereas the original recipe calls for very little to no water. The vegetables are steams as the meat and onions cook, and while releasing their own water, the vegetables  then add to the liquid and then in turn add to the steam to finish cooking the rest of the vegetables.

This recipe is naturally dairy free and to make it vegan, simply omit the meat from this recipe. It’s so flavorful as it is, you won’t even miss the meat! To bulk up the protein, I’d recommend adding more garbanzo beans.

The complete  is as follows and does differ from the one in the video. Please keep in mind that this is a very forgiving recipe and anything goes! To make the couscous base of this meal, simply follow the directions on the box of couscous. It’s super simple to make.

I love my peeler! Though I accidentally mentioned it was by Martha Stewart, it’s actually by Chef’n and can be found at Bloomingdale’s.

 

Moroccan Couscous-Chicken

Special thank you to Laura and Noureddine for this recipe 🙂

 

Ingredients:

1 chicken (whole with skin on or cut into 10 pieces-no skin)

2 onions-sliced

2 jalapenos

1 head of garlic-minced

Ginger (equal to garlic) – minced

1 small can of tomato sauce (8 oz.)

1 butternut squash-peeled and quartered

1 bag of carrots (about 6-8)-peeled

3-4 potatoes-peeled and cut in half long ways

2-3 sweet potatoes or yams-peeled and cut in half

1 acorn squash- peeled and cut in half long ways

1 head of cauliflower-washed and quartered

½ head of green cabbage-washed and quartered into wedges

1 can of garbanzo beans

1-2 boxes of couscous, follow directions of package

Spices:  salt, pepper, cumin, turmeric, cayenne pepper

Optional: add other fall vegetables that are in season like squashes and root vegetables

 

Directions:

If cooking a whole chicken, wash and place it on a baking pan, season lightly with black pepper and salt and bake on 450-500 degrees for 10-15 minutes uncovered until the skin is dark golden brown and crackling.  Reduced to 400 degrees, poke the skin of the chicken where the thigh and breast meet to let the juices run, and cover the chicken. Cook for another 45-60 minutes until the chicken is done, but not over cooked.

If cooking chicken pieces begin by browning an onion over medium heat, add the jalapeno at this time, trimming off the top if you want it spicier.  As the chicken will cook quickly, just brown the chicken pieces before covering with water and bringing the water to a hot simmer.  You may choose to heat water earlier in a separate pan, and add it to the chicken hot.

Add garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, a pinch of cayenne pepper, turmeric and cumin, and tomato sauce.  Layer in the vegetables starting with the ones that take the longest to cook.  I start with the dense squashes and carrots, then add to root vegetables and finish with cabbage and cauliflower on top. Lastly, add the garbanzo beans.  Avoid mixing as this breaks up the vegetables, only lightly mix if necessary.  I like my couscous soupy so I tend to add quite a bit of water, enough to nearly cover the vegetables.  Though this is not traditional, it has become a family tradition and allows extra liquid for making the couscous.

When the vegetables are all tender, turn off the heat and prepare the couscous.  Follow the direction of the package.

Presenting the dish is as important as cooking it.  In a large shallow serving dish, add a thick layer of couscous, evenly spread the couscous around.  Next add the vegetables and chicken pieces, or lay the whole chicken on the bed of couscous and then assort the vegetables around the chicken.  Using a strainer, add soup to a bowl to add separately to each plate.

Hana’s Tip:  Instead of using water to make the couscous, substitute couscous broth for water for a richer, tastier couscous.

 

 

Moroccan Couscous-beef

 

Ingredients:

2-3 lbs. beef stew cut into bit size chunks

2 onions-sliced

2 jalapenos

1 head of garlic-minced

Ginger (equal to garlic) – minced

1 small can of tomato sauce (8 oz.)

1 butternut squash-peeled and quartered

1 bag of carrots (about 6-8)-peeled

3-4 potatoes-peeled and cut in half long ways

2-3 sweet potatoes or yams-peeled and cut in half

1 acorn squash- peeled and cut in half long ways

1 head of cauliflower-washed and quartered

½ head of green cabbage-washed and quartered into wedges

1 can of garbanzo beans

1-2 boxes of couscous, follow directions of package

Optional: add other fall vegetables that are in season like squashes and root vegetables

 

Directions:

Over medium heat, brown an onion, take care not to burn the onion add the jalapeno at this time, trimming off the top if you want it spicier. Toss in meat and brown lightly.  Cover with water and let simmer on medium heat until meat is nearly tender, this may take 2-3 hours, bear in mind there will still be 45 minutes of cooking to follow, don’t over cook the meat or it will be stringy.

Add garlic, ginger, salt, pepper, a pinch of cayenne pepper, turmeric and cumin, and tomato sauce.  Layer in the vegetables starting with the ones that take the longest to cook.  I start with the dense squashes and carrots, then add to root vegetables and finish with cabbage and cauliflower on top. Lastly, add the garbanzo beans.  Avoid mixing as this breaks up the vegetables, only lightly mix if necessary.  I like my couscous soupy so I tend to add quite a bit of water, enough to nearly cover the vegetables.  Though this is not traditional, it has become a family tradition and allows extra liquid for making the couscous.

When the vegetables are all tender, turn off the heat and prepare the couscous.  Follow the direction of the package.

Presenting the dish is as important as cooking it.  In a large shallow serving dish, add a thick layer of couscous, evenly spread the couscous around.  Next add the vegetables and meat.  Using a strainer, add soup to a bowl to add separately to each plate.

Hana’s Tip:  Instead of using water to make the couscous, substitute couscous broth for water for a richer, tastier couscous.

 

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