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.
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
How to Make It
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.
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.
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.
Made this tonight! I didn't have any chickpeas, so I left those out, but this was otherwise delicious and very, very easy. Definitely recommended!
Edit: So my vegetarian girlfriend ate a bite of the couscous when I made this with chicken and liked it, so we fixed it again, only vegetarian-friendly. We used a whole zucchini and a whole yellow squash (we had it around - probably I liked the zucchini better) and totally ditched the chicken. (And again, ditched the chickpeas.) Again, very easy, delicious, and not terribly unhealthy.
Edit: When making this for my parents (who absolutely LOVED it), I added a quarter tsp of allspice (following with the North African roots of the meal) - delicious!
I made this last night for dinner and it was excellent. Anything with cici beans and zucchini rates well in our house. The touch of spice was nice and just right. Instead of using a whole chicken and cutting up the pieces, I used chicken breast and cut it into chunks and sauteed it in the olive oil. I think this cut down on the cooking time. I served with couscous, as suggested, and warm naan with raita (yogurt laced with a dash each of salt, black pepper, cumin powder, and chopped green chilies). Loved it! I will definitely make this again.
Eat Well. Lose Weight. Live Healthy. Delicious and healthy recipes customized for you!