A lot of people find Moroccan dishes irresistible for their distinctive, mildly spicy flavors. A great way to surprise a family or friends is by whipping up an easy-to-make and very health Moroccan chicken over couscous treat that serves 6 to 8 people.

 

INGREDIENTS

 

For the Chicken:

 

2 lb chicken thighs, boneless and skinless

2 cinnamon sticks

2 bay leaves, whole

1/2 lb butternut squash, cut into small cubes

1 15-oz can of chickpeas, drained

1 oz honey

4 oz dried prunes, chopped coarsely

4 oz dried apricots, chopped coarsely

6 cups of chicken stock

1 onion, sliced thinly

1 teaspoon of Ras el Hanout, a Moroccan spice mix

1 teaspoon of turmeric

1 teaspoon of coriander

1/2 teaspoon of cumin

1/2 teaspoon of powdered ginger

1/2 teaspoon of dried tarragon

1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika

1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

A pinch of saffron

A dash of vinegar or white wine

Parsley sprigs

Olive oil

Hickory smoked sea salt

 

For the Couscous:

 

1 10-oz box of plain couscous

2 cups of chicken stock

1/2 teaspoon of Ras el Hanout

1/2 teaspoon of hickory smoked sea salt

1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika

A pinch of saffron

 

PREPARATION

 

In a large pot, heat olive oil and brown your chicken thighs. Each side takes about 3 minutes to get cooked. Remember to sprinkle with hickory smoked sea salt before flipping them.

 

In another pan, saute your sliced onions. When already translucent, throw in your vinegar or white wine to deglaze the pan. Scrape those flavorful brown bits at the bottom and set aside.

 

Grab a bowl and dump in it all of your spices — Ras el Hanout, saffron, cayenne pepper, powdered ginger, dried tarragon, coriander, turmeric, cumin and smoked paprika. Mix very well and transfer them into the pan where those yummy brown bits are. Pour your chicken stock, cinnamon sticks, parsley, bay leaves and honey into the mix. Bring everything into a boil.

 

Once boiling, reduce the heat. Place your browned chicken thighs into the pot, as well as the chickpeas and dried prunes and apricot. Don’t forget your cubed butternut squash. In case butternut squash isn’t available, you may also opt for any type of squash or even zucchini. Let everything simmer for about 2 hours using low heat.

 

A few minutes before it gets ready to be served, prepare your couscous. It’s a good idea to cook it in chicken stock rather than water for a more flavorful outcome that’s perfect for this particular dish.

 

To cook your couscous, place your chicken stock, Ras el Hanout, hickory smoked sea salt, paprika and saffron in a pot. Wait for it to boil before adding in your couscous. Stir, cover and let cook for about 5 minutes.

 

Add 1 to 2 scoops of couscous in a bowl, top with the Moroccan chicken and serve. Don’t forget to remove the cinnamon sticks and bay leaves before you do!

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