Morroccan Couscous with Chicken

Moroccan Chicken Couscous

Since Morocco is just few hundred kilometers from Málaga just across the Mediterranean sea, there are plenty of Moroccan influences in the local food.  Along with Moroccan people comes with their food and it’s widely available in Costa del Sol area. Two familiar components which are clearly part of Moroccan food culture are couscous and chicken.

We wanted to make chicken couscous last weekend and decided to do it Moroccan style. The flavor palette for this dish is little bit different than in traditional Spanish food, but with proper Morroccan spices it is wonderful. Only uncommon ingredient for this dish is a spice called ras el hanout. Just like Chinese have their five spice, Moroccans have ras el hanout, but it’s made of over 10 spices. It’s quite mild, so you can use it generously.

 Ingredients for Moroccan Chicken Couscous for 4 Servings

  • 1 whole chicken – un pollo
  • 2-3 tablespoons of ras el hanout – ras el hanout
  • 3 dl (1 1/2 cups) of couscous – couscous
  • 4 dl (2 cups) of chicken stock – caldo de pollo
  • 1 zucchini – calabacín
  • 1 eggplant – berenjena
  • 3 cloves of garlic – dientes de ajo
  • 2 bell paprikas – pimientos rojos
  • 1 punch of spring onions – cebolletas
  • sea salt to taste – sal marina
  • ground black pepper – pimienta negra
  • a splash of olive oil – aceite de oliva
  • juice of half a lemon – zumo de limón

Preheat the oven to 180 ºC (350 ºC). Dry the chicken with paper towel and place it to an oven pan. Rub ras el hanout and salt all over the chicken. Make some cuts and rub the seasoning under the skin, too. Roast in the oven for 90 minutes.

Chop eggplant, zucchini and paprikas into cubes and place them in another oven pan. Let garlic be with the skin on. Splash some olive oil over the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Put the pan in the oven for 45 minutes.

Cook the couscous according to the instructions on the packet.

When the chicken and vegetables are ready, pour cooked couscous to a large sauce pan. Chop the chicken and add vegetables. Remove garlic from the skin. Chop some spring onions and mix onions and garlic with the couscous. Squeeze juice of half a lemon to couscous. Season with salt and pepper. You can use coriander and mint for garnishing the plates, if you wish.

Yogurt Sauce for the Couscous

  • 2 dl (1 cup) Turkish yogurt – yogur turco
  • juice of half a lemon – zumo de limón
  • a punch of coriander – cilantro
  • a punch of mint – menta
  • honey to taste – miel
  • sea salt to taste – sal marina

Mix minced herbs and lemon juice with the yogurt. Season with salt and honey to taste.  Let the yogurt rest in the fridge at least 15 minutes before serving with the couscous.

¡Buen provecho!



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