I was watching Nigella Lawson's Kitchen on TV today and she claimed she was a "frequent flyer," in the sense that her kitchen cupboard held all the ingredients necessary to travel to exotic places. Inspired by this, I turned to my "Food of the Mediterranean" cookbook. Words like "rich blend of Arabic" and "exotic background" gently coerced me to choose this Moroccan Chicken Stew with Couscous. I absolutely adored it, as did my family; and I know that you would too. As a result of slow cooking, the chicken is tender and succulent which is complimented by an awakening of spices. This is definitely worth a 10/10.
1.5kg whole chicken (suitable for stewing)
2 brown onions, finely chopped
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 ripe red tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp caster sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 cup couscous, uncooked
3 small zucchinis, sliced and quartered, steamed in microwave
400g pumpkin, cut into cubes, cooked in microwave (or oven)
Rinse chicken under cold running water and drain. Joint the chicken into 8 pieces, first removing both legs and cutting through the joint of the drumstick and the thigh. Cut down each side of the backbone and lift it out. Turn chicken over and cut through the breastbone. Cut each breast in half, leaving the wing attached to the top half. Remove the skin and discard it.
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan or stockpot, add the chicken pieces and cook over high heat for 3-4 minutes, stirring often. Reduce heat to medium, add onion and cook for 5 minutes or until onion has softened. Stir in cumin, paprika and cayenne pepper. Add 4 cups of water. Bring to boil.
Halve tomatoes crossways and squeeze out the seeds. Coarsely grate tomatoes over a board/plate, down to the skin, and discard the skin. Add grated tomato into the saucepan, along with the tomato paste, sugar, cinnamon stick and 1 tsp salt and some black pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low, then cover and simmer for 1 hour, or until the chicken is very tender.
Remove chicken to a dish/board. Using 2 forks, shred the chicken off the bones. Discard the bones and any extra bits of unwanted fat. Return shredded chicken to saucepan along with 2 cups of water and return to the boil. White it is boiling, gradually pour in the couscous, stirring constantly. Stir through steamed zucchinis and pumpkin cubes before serving.
Be transported to Morocco! Serves 4.