Chicken and Zucchini Couscous

Food & Wine
A version of the North African classic, this recipe combines chicken, chickpeas, and zucchini in a cumin-spiced tomato broth. Traditionally chicken is braised in a special pot with a top compartment for steaming the couscous, but you can cook couscous, available at most supermarkets, in a saucepan in a matter of minutes.
4

Ingredients

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1 tablespoon olive oil
1 chicken (3 to 3 1/2 pounds), cut into 8 pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree
1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 cups cooked couscous

Preparation

1. In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Season the chicken pieces with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and add them to the pot. Cook, turning, until browned, about 8 minutes in all. Remove. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from the pot.

2. Reduce the heat to moderately low. Add the onion to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, paprika, cumin, oregano, cayenne, and turmeric and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.

3. Add the broth, tomatoes, and the remaining 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt, scraping the bottom of the pot to dislodge any browned bits. Add the chicken thighs and drumsticks. Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Add the chicken breasts with any accumulated juices, the chickpeas, and the zucchini and bring back to a simmer. Cook, covered, until the chicken and zucchini are just done, about 12 minutes longer. Add the parsley and lemon juice and serve over the couscous.

Wine Recommendation: The aromatic spices in this dish are best with an assertive, flavorful wine; color is almost secondary. For a red, try a wine from the indigenous South African grape, pinotage. For white, try a Tokay Pinot Gris from Alsace in France.

Created date

June 2004