Couscous with Chicken and Veggie Stew
Updated: Feb 3
Referred to simply as 'Couscous', this recipe is a light, aromatic dish, easy to make when in a hurry, but also a sure choice when entertaining guests. My family commonly refers to this chicken and veggie dish as 'couscous', even though couscous is served as a side. I have been preparing this recipe for close to twenty years and expectations in my house for 'couscous' have always meant chicken, veggies with a side of couscous. Couscous itself is not technically a grain, but the combination of semolina with water makes it more like a pasta and is usually added to the stew separately, as desired. I discovered the most delicious and authentic couscous dish in a Parisian restaurant many years ago. Determined to find a similar recipe, I experimented with different ingredients and spices until my tastebuds were indeed satisfied with a version combining healthy and hearty benefits from only the freshest ingredients. Depending on the ingredients in my fridge, I find this recipe very forgiving when substituting vegetables or even meat. Also, the chicken and vegetables alone make a delicious soup for those who want to eliminate the couscous, or gluten altogether. Often I make a vegetarian version, substituting portobello mushrooms for the meat.
A friend recently tasted my couscous on a chilly Minnesota winter day and was overwhelmed by the warmth of flavors and the simplicity of this filling but nourishing meal, and also recommended adding this recipe to my blog!
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds chicken breasts, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 carrots, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 stalks celery, sliced into 1-inch pieces
1 large onion, thinly sliced into rings
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-inch piece ginger, chopped
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1½ teaspoons salt
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper or aleppo pepper
3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
3 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
1 cup whole wheat couscous
½ cup cranberries, optional
Chicken and Veggie Stew Preparation
1. Heat oil in a large pot on stove top until hot. Cook chicken in oil until brown on all sides, about 15 minutes.
2. Mix carrots, celery and onion into the chicken and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and ginger, cook for another 2 minutes.
3. Pour broth over chicken and vegetables, add coriander, salt, and ground red pepper. Stir well and heat to boiling. Reduce to a low heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Add zucchini to chicken and vegetable mixture. Cover and continue to simmer until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
5. Finally add garbanzo beans and another heat 5 minutes.
1. In a medium saucepan, combine water, oil and salt. Bring to boil; stir in turmeric and cranberries, simmer for one more minute.
2. Remove from heat and pour dry couscous into water in pan. Stir well with a fork.
3. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and serve together with the stew.