James Carrier Photo by: James Carrier

Spiced Chicken and Vegetable Couscous

Jennifer Kirk writes that this spiced chicken and vegetable dish is her family's idea of comfort food.

Sunset SEPTEMBER 2003

  • Yield: Makes 4 to 6 servings


  • 1 pound boned, skinned chicken breasts
  • About 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • About 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion (about 8 oz.), peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground dried turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 cups cauliflower florets (about 1/2 in.)
  • 1 cup baby-cut carrots
  • 1 1/2 cups fat-skimmed chicken broth or water
  • 1 red bell pepper (about 8 oz.), rinsed, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 zucchini (about 8 oz.), rinsed, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz. each) diced tomatoes
  • 1 package (10 oz.) couscous
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves


1. Rinse chicken and pat dry; cut chicken into 1-inch chunks and sprinkle with about 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a 12-inch frying pan (with 2- inch-high sides) or a 6-quart pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and stir often until browned on the outside but still slightly pink in the center (cut to test), 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and add remaining tablespoon oil to frying pan.

2. Add onion and garlic to pan and stir often until onion is limp, about 5 minutes. Stir in cumin, coriander, turmeric, and cayenne and cook until spices are fragrant, about 1 minute. Add cauliflower, carrots, and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover, and simmer until carrots are slightly tender when pierced, 10 minutes. Stir in bell pepper, zucchini, and tomatoes and simmer, uncovered, until zucchini is tender when pierced, 8 to 10 minutes longer. Add salt and pepper to taste.

3. Meanwhile, in a 3- to 4-quart pan over high heat, bring 2 cups water to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in couscous, cover, and let stand until water is absorbed, about 5 minutes.

4. Fluff couscous with fork and spoon onto a large serving platter. Spoon chicken and vegetables over couscous and sprinkle cilantro over the top.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving
  • Calories: 386
  • Calories from fat: 15%
  • Protein: 29g
  • Fat: 6.4g
  • Saturated fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrate: 53g
  • Fiber: 5.5g
  • Sodium: 362mg
  • Cholesterol: 44mg

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Spiced Chicken and Vegetable Couscous recipe