African Chicken and Couscous Stew

dsc_1205RECIPE #292, DAY #490

FIVE STARS

ORIGINAL RECIPE: “African Chicken Stew,” from Mill’s and Ross’s Desperation Dinners*

TIMING: 20 minutes

DIFFICULTY: Easy

TOOLS: Nothing special, unless you use a steamer to make your couscous

COOK TYPE: Stovetop

HEALTH: Meat, vegetables, spices, beans, grain, fruit… This is a food pyramid in a bowl. And if you want to be even better, use whole grain couscous or leave out the couscous (since it is likely you’ve had enough carbs and grains today). You can also make this vegetarian by simply omitting the chicken. We’ve done this many times in the past.

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EXPERIENCE: This is a family favorite, which we have been making for years and years. For a long time, we were vegetarian and made it without the chicken or with mock chicken. It tastes as nice, either way, and is just a very satisfying meal for only a 20 minute effort. It will stay a favorite.

NOTES: Don’t omit anything. You need each thing to contribute to the fairly full and complex taste of this dish, which is reminiscent of a Moroccan tagine.

***

  1. Cook 1 1/2 cups couscous according to package directions. Set aside.
  2. In a soup pot or Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 sliced onion, 3 sliced carrots, and 1 sliced green bell pepper and cook until onion is translucent. Add 2 cloves pressed garlic and give it a stir.
  3. Move veggies to the sides of the pan and add 12 ounces sliced chicken breast or thigh meat. Season with salt and pepper and cook until all white.
  4. To the pan, add 1 can stewed tomatoes, breaking them up. Then add 1 can water (or chicken broth), 1 can drained chickpeas, 1 sliced zucchini, 1/2 cup raisins, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon salt, and black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
  5. Check to make sure the chicken is cooked through. Stir in the couscous and taste for seasonings.

***

Serve with a leafy salad or taboulleh and a crusty bread, as well as some hot, mint tea.

*Recipe changed from the original.

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