Moroccan-inspired chicken over couscous

When I was doing the meal plan for the pay period, I asked John if he had any requests. He came back with “couscous”. That works. I decided to build a Moroccan-style menu around his desired side dish.

I originally was going to make a Cooking Light fish recipe but wasn’t in the mood for fish today (slash going to the market to get some). I decided I would make use of the preserved lemons languishing in the fridge and come up with a chicken dish instead.

I looked at a few recipes for this, and instead just decided to kind of wing it. On that account, I’m not convinced it’s particularly authentic, but it sure tasted good. Wish I’d had my camera battery (charging at work), because it was pretty, too.

Another weird quirk to this recipe – when I was searing the breasts, the skin wasn’t getting as crispy as I’d like. I decided to cut off the flabbier bits and crisp them up in my cast iron skillet on the side, then throw them in at the end. This did double work of seasoning the skillet and adding a fun, if inauthentic, crunch to the finished dish.

Note: this recipe would be even better with chicken thighs, but we didn’t have any.

2 bone-in, skin on chicken breasts, hacked into 3 pieces each (about 4 oz each)

8 pieces preserved lemon (about 1/2 cup to a cup), chopped

12 green olives, chopped (I used cocktail ones because I was out otherwise)

1/2 an onion, sliced

4 garlic cloves, sliced

cilantro, chopped

cumin, to taste

cinnamon, to taste

turmeric, to taste

pinch ginger

pinch saffron

1/4 cup or so white wine

approx 2 cups chicken broth

salt and pepper

1 tsp olive oil

1 tsp cornstarch, combined w/ water for slurry

Season your chicken pieces with salt, pepper, cinnamon, cumin and turmeric.

Heat 1/2 tsp oil in pan. Brown half your chicken on both sides and remove from pan. Repeat process with remaining chicken.

Pick over chicken for not-yet-crisped skin. Remove, chop and set aside.

Sautee onion and garlic in pan for a minute or two. Deglaze pan with wine, and scrape up brown bits. Return chicken to pan, and add chicken broth. Add ginger and saffron, along with olives and lemon. Bring up heat and then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook 15-20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

While that’s going on, heat up your cast iron. Crisp your skin, and remove from pan.

Turn up heat and thicken with cornstarch. Garnish with chicken skin and cilantro and serve over couscous.

WW Points: Approx 5 Points for 1 piece chicken and sauce. 1/2 cup whole wheat couscous adds another 1.5 points.

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Filed under main dishes, poultry, WW-friendly

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