Last updated on March 12th, 2018 at 11:34 am
This Moroccan Chicken Couscous is super flavorful and healthy loaded with exotic spices but still simple enough to make any night of the week.
I’m so excited to share with you today’s recipe because it’s so good, loaded with delicious flavors and it’s even healthy, at least in my book. I love taking you on a trip around the world, at least cuisine-wise, without even leaving your house. Today we’re going to Morocco with all these exotic spices. Trust me, you’ll love it and have fun.
I don’t know about you, but I actually have all the spices listed in this recipe in my spice cabinet, maybe I am a spice snob, but I do love my spices. Thing is, I bought most of them once, when hubs and I made a trip downtown to a really nice spice store. I filled up on all the spices and bought all the little jars. I love my spice cabinet, and hubs even organized it all for me and labeled all the jars. Yeah, he’s great that way. Anyway, having just admitted to being a spice snob, I know most of you probably won’t have most of these spices, so you can also use the store bought Moroccan spice blend.
But this dish, this dish is EVERYTHING. You’ll want to sear the chicken first to get that nice crust on the chicken which will be the best part. Yes, you can use chicken breast with skin and bones, and yes it will be even better than the skinless one, it will add a lot more flavor, but the skinless chicken worked just as well, it’s still really delicious, totally up to you which one you use. I also used a couple tablespoons of the spice to season the chicken, but feel free to go nuts and use more. I’m not judging, and as far as I’m concerned the more spice the better.
Now please realize that I just made up this recipe and I’m not claiming it’s a authentic dish or anything, so if you’re Moroccan or an expert on Moroccan cuisine, please don’t judge. I basically just made this up, so this is my version of Moroccan chicken couscous. Glad we got that squared right away.
One thing I do know, is that in Moroccan cuisine they sometimes use dates or raisins in their dishes, so I went with golden raisins here. I wouldn’t skip the raisins because they truly add a nice sweetness to the dish. The fire roasted tomatoes are probably not Moroccan at all, but I know I’ve told you before I love them, adds so much more flavor to your dishes than regular diced tomatoes.
If you’ve never had couscous before or cooked with couscous it is in fact little pasta pearls and not a whole grain, as some people may think. Couscous is very versatile, you can make hot dishes or cold dishes with it, or it could be used in all sort of salads. Pearl couscous, sometimes also called Israeli couscous, can be found anywhere now, I find mine in my local grocery store. Pearl couscous is the same as regular couscous but just a bit bigger and sometimes as you can see here it comes in various colors. Too cool and I thought it would be perfect in this dish. I was right, as usual!
One last great ingredient I used here that is worth mentioning is the kale, another ingredient I would recommend not omitting. As this cooks the kale actually crisps up a bit in the oven, and it’s so great, plus it adds nice color to the dish and it’s also healthy and good for you. Now go make this, you’ll love it!
If you loved this recipe, try my Moroccan Style Roast Chicken and Potatoes!
If you try this recipe, please let us know! Leave a comment, rate it and tag a photo #jocooks on Instagram so we can see it. I always love to see what you guys come up with!
Moroccan Chicken Couscous
- 3 tbsp Moroccan spice blend recipe below
- 4 chicken breasts about 1 1/2 lbs, boneless and skinless
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 14 oz chickpeas (1 can) drained and washed
- 14 oz fire roasted tomatoes (1 can)
- 3 cups chicken broth low sodium
- 1 cup pearl couscous dry
- 4 cups kale rinsed and roughly chopped
Moroccan Spice Blend
- Preheat oven to 375 F degrees.
- Combine all the Moroccan spice blend ingredients together. The recipe should yields about 8 to 9 tsp or about 3 tbsp.
- Season the chicken breasts with 2 tbsp of the Moroccan spice blend thoroughly. Use more as preferred.
- In a large Dutch Oven or a oven safe pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot add the chicken breasts and sear on both sides until browned, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. The chicken will not be cooked through at all, it will just be crispy on the outside. Transfer the chicken from the pot to a plate and set aside.
- Add the onion and garlic to the pot and saute for about 3 minutes until onion softens and becomes translucent and garlic is aromatic. add the remaining 1 tbsp of the Moroccan spice blend and stir.
- Add the golden raisins, chickpeas, fire roasted tomatoes, chicken broth, couscous and stir well. Gently stir in the kale. Bring to a boil, then add the chicken breasts back.
- Cover the pot with a lid and place in the oven. If your pot doesn't have a lid, cover with aluminum foil. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes with the lid on, then remove the lid and cook for an additional 30 minutes.
Heat oven to 160C/340F. Put 5-6 tomatoes on a baking sheet with 2 crushed cloves of garlic. Sprinkle with 2 tsp thyme, drizzle with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, add some salt and pepper and roast for 1 hr. Remove and set aside to cool. You can also use store bought Moroccan spice blend instead of making your own, you can find it on Amazon here. You can also use chicken breasts with skin and bones for additional flavor. Chicken thighs or drumsticks are also fine. I used a large Dutch Oven Braiser that is oven safe. A tagine would also work great with this recipe. Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.
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