Recipe courtesy of Comme Ci Comme Ca

Couscous with Lemon Chicken

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 12 hr 40 min
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Inactive: 10 hr
  • Cook: 1 hr 40 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
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Lemon Chicken:

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

1/2 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1/2 tablespoon salt

1/2 preserved lemon, finely chopped

Vegetables and Sauce:

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 1/2 tablespoons salt

1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

2 tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

1 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight

1/2 handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

1/2 handful fresh parsley leaves, chopped

6 carrots, halved

3 turnips, halved

2 to 3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and halved, optional

4 to 5 small zucchinis (long or 8-ball round), ends removed, halved

1 small butternut squash, quartered, or a small section of pumpkin, cut into 3-inch pieces


1 tablespoon salted butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon

1/2 tablespoon ground turmeric

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 cups couscous


Special equipment:
Wooden skewers, soaked for 20 minutes, or metal skewers
  1. For the chicken: Mix the chicken with the lemon juice, oil, oregano, pepper, thyme, salt and preserved lemon in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
  2. For the vegetables and sauce: Combine the vegetable oil, salt, pepper, ginger, olive oil, turmeric, tomatoes and onions in a pan. Cook uncovered over medium to medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until browned and the onions and tomatoes have formed a thick sauce, about 15 minutes. Add 8 1/2 cups water, the chickpeas, cilantro and parsley. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, and then reduce the heat to medium and simmer rapidly, 25 to 30 minutes. 
  3. Add the carrots, turnips and sweet potatoes and cook for about 15 minutes. Add the zucchini and butternut squash and cook until all of the vegetables are cooked through, about 25 minutes. Test the vegetables for doneness, cooking longer if necessary. Taste the sauce - it should be salty and peppery. Adjust the seasoning if desired.
  4. For the couscous: Combine 3 cups water, the butter, oil, cinnamon, turmeric and salt in a large saucepan and bring to boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Stir in the couscous, cover and let stand for about 10 minutes. Toss the couscous and rub it between your palms to break up any balls or clumps. 
  5. Preheat the grill to high heat. 
  6. Skewer the chicken, and then grill for 7 to 10 minutes, basting frequently with the leftover juices in the bowl and turning the chicken occasionally. 
  7. To serve the couscous, shape it into a mound with a well in the center. Put the vegetables into the well, and arrange the lemon chicken on top and all around. Distribute the sauce evenly over the couscous and vegetables, reserving one or two bowlfuls to offer on the side for those who prefer more sauce.