Passion Project: One-Pot Moroccan Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes and Pearl Couscous

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Aristotle once said: “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts,” and this one-pot recipe is basically the literal illustration of it. At the risk of outshining my earlier posts of the week, this has got to be one of the best dishes I have ever made. Hands down. There wasn’t a single couscous grain left in my plate, and it left me craving for more. Bottom line is: if I had my own restaurant, this would be on the menu. Have I convinced you to try it yet?

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Where to begin? I don’t even know… Thoughts come rushing through my mind as I am typing.  Should I mention the fragrant spices? Crispy skin? Fork tender meat? Caramelized tomatoes and onions? Flavorful, broth-infused pearl couscous? Or the fact that this wonderful meal only requires a single pot? I don’t know!

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For my 5th day exploring chicken, I still wanted to try a new cooking technique. At that point, I had a leg and a breast remaining from the whole chicken I had broken down earlier. Since I had used a breast in my wonderful curry yesterday, I opted for the leg. Now, I wasn’t sure how I wanted to cook it. So far, I had baked and poached the bird so I realized I had to try pan frying it! I have a great recipe for pan-fried Lemon & Olives Chicken, but I went for something new.

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This recipe is a one-pot wonder! It requires two cooking steps, but no more than a single pot. Apart from the obvious advantage that comes with less dishwashing to do, one-pot recipes are a great way to really develop all of the flavors at once. It creates a dish that comes together as a whole and really makes sense. Every item in your plate has its own place, and adds something to the finished result.

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For this dish in particular, using a single pot allows the couscous to absorb the chicken, onion and tomatoes’ flavors blended with the spices and the broth. This gives incredibly flavorful and tender grains. The grains can also caramelize in the chicken fat, which is absolutely delicious. I must confess I found myself eating half of it out of the pan with a spoon… Guilty. Bon appétit!

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This recipe is loosely inspired by a Food52 recipe.


Total time: 40 minutes (worth every second)

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken leg, bone-in, skin-on
  • 1 1/3 cup homemade chicken broth (vegetable is also great!)
  • 1/3 cup pearl couscous
  • a handful cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 yellow onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/3 tsp cayenne pepper
  • olive oil
  • fresh parsley (optional)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Generously season the chicken leg with salt and pepper on both sides. Let it sit for a minute or two, and pat both sides dry with a paper towel (this will help the skin get crispy).
  2. Heat some olive oil in a pot. Add the chicken leg and let it sizzle for about 4 minutes. You want the skin to become golden. Flip the leg over and let the other side brown too.
  3. Meanwhile, mix all the spices together. Roughly mince the onion and garlic clove.
  4. When both sides of the chicken are done, take it out of the pot. Throw in the onions, cherry tomatoes, and garlic with all the spices. Stir everything to coat in the remaining oil, and let it all soften for a minute or two, allowing the flavors to develop.
  5. Add the chicken leg back in with 1 cup of the broth, the fresh thyme, and rosemary. Bring to a simmer, cover and let it cook for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the pearl couscous and the remaining broth, stir to make sure all of the grains are immersed in the liquid, and cover. Cook for another 10 minutes, or until the couscous has absorbed all the liquid.
  7. To plate, start with the couscous and tomatoes. Add the chicken leg on top, and drizzle with the remaining juices. Garnish with fresh parsley and a touch of spicy oil. Enjoy!

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Temps Total: 40 minutes

Ingrédients

  • 1 cuisse de poulet
  • 1 1/3 tasse de bouillon de poulet maison (ou aux légumes!)
  • 1/3 tasse de couscous israélien
  • une poignée de tomates cerises
  • 1/4 d’oignon jaune
  • 1 gousse d’ail
  • 1 brin de romarin
  • 4 brins de thym
  • 1 c.c de coriandre en poudre
  • 1 c.c de cumin
  • 1/2 c.c de curcuma
  • 1/2 c.c de paprika
  • 1/3 c.c de piment de cayenne
  • huile d’olive
  • persil frais
  • sel de mer et poivre noir fraichement moulu

Etapes:

  1. Assaisonnez les deux côtés de la cuisse de poulet généreusement de sel et de poivre. Laissez la reposer quelques minutes et épongez la surface avec du papier absorbant.
  2. Faites chauffer de l’huile dans une casserole. Ajoutez y la cuisse de poulet et laissez la griller pendant environ 4 minutes. La peau doit être bien dorée et craquante avant de retourner la cuisse et laisser l’autre côté saisir.
  3. Pendant ce temps, mélangez les épices ensemble. Émincez l’oignon et la gousse d’ail.
  4. Lorsque le poulet est grillé des deux côtés, sortez-le de la casserole. Ajoutez les oignons, l’ail, et les tomates avec toutes les épices. Mélangez le tout de façon à bien répartir les épices, et laissez les saveurs se développer pendant 1 ou 2 minutes.
  5. Remettez le poulet dans la casserole et ajoutez une tasse de bouillon, le thym et le romarin. Faites le frémir, couvrez, et laissez cuire pendant 10 minutes.
  6. Versez enfin le couscous israélien dans la casserole et ajoutez le bouillon restant. Mélangez pour que tous les grains soient immergés, couvrez, et laissez cuire encore 10 minutes (le temps que le couscous absorbe le bouillon).
  7. Pour servir, commencez par la base de couscous aux tomates. Placez la cuisse de poulet dessus, versez le jus de cuisson restant ainsi qu’un filet d’huile pimentée, et garnissez de persil fraichement ciselé. Bon appétit!
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3 thoughts on “Passion Project: One-Pot Moroccan Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes and Pearl Couscous

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