Moroccan Chicken and Couscous

Adapted fromĀ The Gastrokid Cookbook

This recipe is a snap if you can remember to throw the ingredients in a zip top bag the day before. I like to make it for a Monday so that I can put the ingredients together on a Sunday. There are enough sweet and familiar ingredients in this dish for the kids – apricots, prunes, chicken. I also like that there are a few out-of-the ordinary flavors to help develop their palates – capers, olives and my personal favorite, preserved lemons.

  • For the chicken:
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Kosher salt
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves, crushed
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pitted prunes, sliced in quarters
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, halved
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives
  • 1/4 cup capers
  • 1 preserved lemon, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • For the couscous:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 cup Israeli (pearl) couscous
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1-1/4 cup chicken broth
  • One day beforehand: Lightly salt chicken breasts. Place them in a zip top bag along with garlic, oregano, vinegar, oil, prunes, apricots, green olives, capers, preserved lemon and bay leaves. Press the air out of the bag, then seal it. Place the bag in the refrigerator and leave it there overnight.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Remove the chicken and marinade from the refrigerator. Place entire contents of zip top back into a baking dish. Distribute the chicken breasts evenly in the pan and spread out the fruit and spices. Sprinkle with brown sugar, then pour wine over the top. Bake for 40 minutes, or until chicken is just cooked through.
  • While the chicken is baking, prepare the couscous. In a small saucepan, warm the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onions and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until they are becoming translucent and slightly brown. Add a pinch of kosher salt, then the couscous and almonds. Stir to coat couscous and almonds with the oil, then add chicken broth and turn heat up to high. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Allow to simmer for 10 minutes, or until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to stand for another minute or two.
  • To serve, place couscous on a plate and serve chicken alongside. Drizzle the flavorful pan juices over the couscous for additional flavor.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. If you don’t have your own preserved lemons on hand, you can find them at Whole Foods where the olives are kept in the prepared foods section. Once you make your own batch of preserved lemons, they keep for months in the fridge.
  • 2. The great thing about this dish is that if you don’t think your children will be interested in trying the olives, capers, prunes and apricots, you can easily separate them and serve the dish deconstructed.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s)

Cooking time: 40 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

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