Wish Upon A Dish: Chicken Tagine with Morrocan Couscous & Chickpeas

April 2, 2011

Chicken Tagine with Morrocan Couscous & Chickpeas

I found this recipe on a Moroccan site but I did not have all the ingredients they made it with so I made substitutions.

For the vegetables I kept the red pepper and onion - but I added chick peas, carrots and peas. For the dried fruit I used chopped prunes instead of raisins. For the nut, I used toasted pine nuts instead of slivered almonds. And for the herb I used fresh flat-leaf parsley instead of mint.

So even though it started out as another recipe, I completely changed it to make it with what I had on hand. Do not let not having an ingredient stop you from making a recipe you want to make. There is always a substitute you can use.

I find that this site has a lot of subs but also fun food facts and recipes.

That's what I love about the versatility of Moroccan dishes.

Couscous and Chickpea Salad
makes 3 cups
* 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
* 3/4 cup chopped shallots
* 2 tablespoons grated carrot
* 3 cups Homemade Chicken Stock or canned
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
* 1 1/2 cups couscous, whole wheat if you can find it
* 1/2 cup pignoli nuts, toasted
* 1/4 cup chopped dried prunes
* 1/4 cup roasted red pepper, diced
* 1/2 can chickpeas
* 1/4 cup peas
* 2 tablespoons minced parsley


Melt the butter in a large saute pan, add the shallots and carrots and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat. Add the chicken stock, salt and pepper, raise the heat to high and bring the stock to a boil. Off the heat and add the couscous. Cover the pan and let it sit for 10 minutes.

Add the red pepper, chickpeas, pignoli nuts, prunes, peas and parsley to the couscous, stir and serve.

I used a package of chicken leg quarters, so I had both thighs and legs. I also bought black and green cured olives since they both have a different taste and I love them both.
This recipe is wonderful in many ways. It is perfect for a Diabetic with the nuts, beans, prunes and olives and it is full of flavor. A plus, it is low in fat, cholesterol and calories.

Chicken Tajine
adapted from the Food Network
* 6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1 teaspoon ground ginger
* 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
* 1 tablespoon kosher or sea salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1 large Spanish onion, grated (about 1 cup)
* 2 tablespoons canola, grapeseed or olive oil (not a heavy olive oil)
* 1 to 2 preserved lemons, depending on size
* 8 chicken thighs, with bone and skin
* Stems from the parsley and cilantro, tied with twine
* 1/4 teaspoon powdered saffron or 1/4 teaspoon powdered turmeric and 4 strands saffron
* 1 cup pitted green Moroccan or Greek olives
* 1/2 bunch Italian parsley, about 1/4 cup chopped
* 1/2 bunch cilantro, about 1/4 cup chopped


In a large bowl, mix the garlic, cumin, ginger, paprika, salt and pepper, 1/2 cup grated onion, and the oil.

Rinse the preserved lemons, and remove the pulp. RESERVE the lemon peel for later use.

Add the lemon pulp to the mixing bowl. Add the chicken. Mix everything together and place in a large plastic bag to marinate overnight in the refrigerator. (Twenty-four hours really gives the chicken the best flavor.)

(If you follow this blog, I gave the marinade in yesterday's post so peeps would have time to marinade their chicken, but I listed it here again so you don't have to go back and get it. Aren't I nice?)

In a large Dutch oven or casserole, place the chicken and marinade; add the stems of the parsley and cilantro, the rest of the grated onion, the powdered saffron and 1 1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat, turn down to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 30 minutes.

Remove the cover, stir the chicken and continue to simmer for another 15 minutes or until the chicken is tender.

Remove the chicken to a serving dish and cover with foil to keep warm. Keep sauce on stove and begin to reduce.

Slice the preserved lemon peel into thin slices and add to the sauce along with the olives, parsley and cilantro. Reduce until the sauce is just a little thick. This shouldn't take more than 5 minutes at most.

Uncover the chicken and remove the skin from the chicken. (It doesn't look pretty and who needs the extra fat.) Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

I usually either add more of something or something completely different to each recipe I get from someone else but I actually followed this recipe to a T.

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