Middle Eastern Chicken Pot and Butter-Nut Couscous

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 40 min
  • Prep: 15 min
  • Cook: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it

1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, chopped into bite-sized pieces

1 onion, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, grated or chopped

1 cup shredded carrots

1 fresh bay leaf

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

Pinch ground cinnamon

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

3/4 cup chopped dried fruits - pick 1 or combine: figs, pitted dates, apricots, sultanas

1 lemon, zested and juiced

3/4 cup pitted mixed olives, chopped

4 cups chicken stock, divided

2 tablespoons butter

3 tablespoons pine nuts

1/4 cup slivered or sliced almonds

1 1/2 cups couscous

Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped


  1. Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil ripples add the chicken and brown 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, bay leaf and season with spices, salt and pepper, cook 5 to 6 minutes. Stir the fruits into the chicken and vegetables, add the zest of the lemon, olives and 2 1/2 cups of stock. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes more. Sprinkle with lemon juice and turn off heat. Remove bay leaf. 
  2. While chicken simmers, melt butter in a sauce pot over medium heat. Add nuts and lightly toast for a couple of minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups stock and bring up to a boil then stir in couscous. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. 
  3. Serve chicken over couscous, or vice versa, and garnish with parsley.