Moroccan Chicken and Couscous Stoup


Spring's fickle weather is upon us. Somedays summer seems just a few days away and then….it snows. Ah well. Still time to enjoy a few one bowl dinner stoups. This one was inspired by the Bread Works here in Boulder. Top it with a 1 teaspoon of this lovely harissa from Les Moulins Mahjoub.

It is one of the best harrissas I've had and is very unique as far as most harissas go. Instead of being a paste, it's actually more flaky, as seen in the picture above. I use this harissa like I would Sirachca as a garnish on all different types of dishes for an added element of heat.


Moroccan Chicken and Couscous Soup
Serves 5 to 6

1 medium sweet potato
1 small zuchini, cut into large 2-inch chunks (optional)
1 medium yellow or white onion, diced
2 medium carrots, diced
1 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. cumin seed, toasted then ground (or you can use regular ground cumin)
1 (12-ounce) can crushed tomatoes (or diced, whatever you happen to have in your cupboard)
6 chicken thighs or breasts
salt and pepper
olive oil
6 cups homemade chicken broth
1/2 to 1 Cup Israeli or Jordanian Couscous (depending on how thick you like your soup)

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Peel and cut the sweet potato in large 2-inch chunks. Toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and spread out over a cookie sheet. Place in the oven and roast until the potatoes are just beginning to brown and get soft when touched with the end of a knife. Do the same thing with the zucchini, if using.

Meanwhile, heat a large casserole over medium heat and cover the bottom with nice  thin layer of olive oil. Add the diced onion and cook until translucent. Add the carrots and stir to incorporate and coat all the vegeables with the oil. Season with the spices and stir well. Add the tomatoes, cover and let cook for a few minutes.

Bring the broth to a boil in another pot and cook the couscous, about 8 minutes.

Once the vegetables are done roasting, add them to the casserole on the stove and pour in the broth and couscous. Lower heat and allow to simmer. You might want to add more liquid depending if you want more of a soup or a stew.

Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper. You can roast the chicken or grill it. Once it is cooked, cut it into large chunks on the diagonal. Adjust seasonings on the stoup and ladle into large bowls. Top with the cooked chicken pieces, a heaping teaspoon of harrissa and enjoy. Optional garnishes include chopped fresh cilantro and crumbed feta cheese.

4 Responses to Moroccan Chicken and Couscous Stoup

  1. Mark April 14, 2011 at 1:21 pm #

    Do you mean 6 *cups* of chicken broth?

    • Barr April 14, 2011 at 2:26 pm #

      Yes! Cups. I just made the change. Thanks for asking and bringing that to my attention!

  2. Camille Nava April 16, 2011 at 7:50 am #

    Thank you for the blog and inspiration. This soup/ stew was excellent! I served it as suggested with cilantro and feta, and also made a gremolata and romanesco as accompaniments. (Thank you for your romanesco recipe- also excellent!)
    With the soup, I made a pan of 1/2 whole wheat couscous and 1/2 quinoa, and added into each bowl when serving. I liked how this allowed the broth to stay a bit lighter.

    • Barr April 16, 2011 at 4:48 pm #

      And thank you for the kind words! So glad you enjoyed it and sounds like a wonderful menu!

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