Food Buzz

Because maybe you do care what I had for lunch...

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Moroccan couscous

JaneAnne sent me this recipe, and it turned out delicious despite my alterations. I left out the turnips, cayenne and the jalapeno (because I want Jasper to enjoy it). And I was out of ground ginger so I used fresh---not at all the same thing, but you do what you can. Instead of a whole chicken I used 3 ½ pounds of boneless, skinless chicken thighs (another use for boneless, skinless meat, though as always I used dark meat). It’s got that sweet-spicy-savory flavor that I love in a lot of Moroccan foods.

The recipe is supposed to feed six people. I would add that these are fairly large portions. This makes a TON of food. So much that even without the turnips I almost couldn’t fit everything into my Dutch oven. In fact, I added the chicken back in at the very end and had to tuck the pieces in delicately so as not to overflow. I also ended up pouring out much of the cooking broth.

You could probably halve the recipe and do just fine. Or, you could put the emphasis more on the flavor of the butternut squash (which actually gets a little lost in the mix here), and leave out the carrots, turnips, zucchini, and garbanzo beans.

For that matter, you could also turn this into a vegetarian dish by leaving the chicken out altogether, using twice the amount of garbanzo beans, and cooking everything in vegetable broth.

Give yourself plenty of time for all that chopping. That’s what I wish I’d done. Instead, I expended much of my day’s energy taking Jasper to the zoo, which was worth it. Then, before starting dinner, I made these baked apple donuts (from that same Martha Baby magazine). What was I thinking? We didn’t eat dinner until after nine. And the apple donuts didn’t rise at all, probably because I killed the yeast with too-hot milk. I’m supposed to dip them in melted butter and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, but it hardly seems worth the effort. Now they’re dense, apple-flavored biscuits, albeit in pretty flower shapes. There’s nothing for it now but to dunk them in coffee or else coat them in Nutella.

Here’s JaneAnne’s Moroccan couscous recipe.

* 1 31/2-pound chicken, cut into 6 pieces
* 4 cups chicken broth
* 31/2 tablespoons butter (divided)
* 1/4 cup vegetable oil
* 1 large onion, cut into wedges
* 1/2 pound plum tomatoes, quartered
* 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
* 11/2 teaspoons ground ginger
* 11/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
* 1 teaspoon turmeric
* 1 jalapeno chile
* 1/2 cinnamon stick
* 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
* 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
* 5 small turnips, peeled, quartered
* 4 large carrots, peeled, quartered lengthwise and crosswise
* 1 large butternut or acorn squash, peeled, seeded, cut into
2-inch pieces
* 3 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise, then crosswise
* 1 16-ounce can garbanzo beans, undrained
* 21/4 cups water
* 11/2 teaspoons salt

3 cups Moroccan couscous

Combine chicken and broth in a large Dutch oven. Simmer until chicken is cooked through, turning occasionally, 20 minutes. Using tongs, remove chicken from cooking liquid; reserve cooking liquid. Skin and bone chicken, and cut into bite-size pieces.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter with the oil in the Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, saute until tender, 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, parsley, ginger, pepper, turmeric, jalapeno, cinnamon stick, cayenne pepper and saffron threads and stir 30 seconds. Mix in reserved cooking liquid, turnips, carrots, squash, zucchini and beans with their liquid.

Cover and simmer until the vegetables are almost tender, 15 minutes. Uncover and cook until vegetables are tender, 5 minutes. Add chicken pieces to sauce and cook until heated through, 3 minutes. Discard jalapeno.

Bring water, remaining 11/2 tablespoons butter and salt to boil. Stir in couscous. Remove from heat, cover, and let stand 10 minutes; fluff with fork. Arrange couscous in center of serving platter. Drizzle couscous with 3/4 cup sauce. Spoon chicken and vegetables over couscous. Serve,passing remaining sauce separately. -- From

1 comment:

janeannechovy said...

Okay, based on the ingredients I had on hand that I needed to get rid of (chicken, winter squash, parsley), David voted for this for dinner tonight. I made it with boneless skinless breasts, browning them before the onion, then removing them and adding them, cut up, at the end. I also used the vegetables I had on hand, so it was just carrot, green beans and delicata squash. Yum yum yum. I just wish our local coop hadn't stopped carrying the whole wheat couscous, which had more flavor, more chew, and a whole lot more fiber. I'm all about the fiber these days.