Hello! It’s wonderful to be back after a three month break. And by “break”, I mean three months of chasing a toddler around during a pandemic (but without any blog responsibilities). I started Dahlia Kitchen in the fall of 2016 and while I love cooking and recipe development, I needed a some time away. Now I’m back, refreshed, and ready to serve you some delicious recipes. This Moroccan-inspired chicken dish is an all-season crockpot favorite of mine; it’s already popular with my extended family and requested by them on a regular basis. The spices and preserved lemons really make this meal a smashing hit, and if you don’t have any preserved lemons in your pantry, look for them at Whole Foods, World Market, Amazon.com, or Trader Joe’s. It’s also quite easy to make your own preserved lemons, the only catch is that it takes at least 4 weeks for the lemons to properly brine. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as we have, and if you are glad that I’m back posting new recipes, do me a favor and pass along my site to someone you know. Cheers!
MOROCCAN-INSPIRED LEMON CHICKEN WITH ISRAELI COUSCOUS
Morroccan-inspired lemon chicken:
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts
1.5 cups chicken stock or broth, divided
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large (or two small) yellow onion, sliced
5 large garlic cloves, smashed then chopped
3 tablespoons preserved lemon, minced
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon sea salt, plus more for chicken
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1-2 teaspoons red chili pepper flakes (if you are sensitive to spice, use 1 tsp)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups pitted green olives
2 cups Israeli couscous, uncooked
4 tablespoons extra virgin live oil, divided
3 large cloves garlic, grated
2 tablespoons preserved lemon, minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
a few grinds of black pepper
3.5 cups chicken broth
1 large (or two small) red bell pepper, diced
1 large zucchini, diced
1 small red onion, sliced
cilantro or parsley leaves
toasted pine nuts
crumbled sheep feta
1. Make the chicken: Set your crock pot to low heat and add one cup of the chicken broth. Salt your chicken breasts on each side and add them to the crockpot.
2. In a medium pan, saute the sliced onion in olive oil for a few min over medium heat, then add the garlic, preserved lemon, turmeric, cumin, coriander, salt, black pepper, red chili pepper, lemon juice, and cook for another 2 min, stirring constantly, until the spices are well incorporated.
3. Remove the pan from heat and add the entire mixture to your crockpot. Pour the remaining ½ cup chicken broth into the hot pan to deglaze, scraping all the spices and little bits off the surface of the pan. Add this broth to the crockpot. Cook the chicken on low for 5 hours and at the 4 hour mark, add the green olives. When cooking is complete, shred the chicken in the crockpot for serving.
4. Make the Israeli couscous: 30 minutes from mealtime, set a medium-large pot to medium heat and add 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add Israeli couscous, grated garlic, preserved lemon, red pepper flakes, salt, black pepper, and saute for 3-5 minutes. Pour in the broth and bring to a gentle simmer for approximately 12-15 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally to scrape any bits that get stuck to the bottom of the pan. The couscous is cooked when it has absorbed all the broth and is soft but not mushy (similar to al dente pasta).
5. While the couscous is simmering, heat a large pan over medium-high heat. Saute the red onion in 2 tablespoons olive oil for a few minutes, then add the bell pepper and zucchini, lightly salt, and saute for an additional 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat. When the couscous is cooked, add the veggies to the pot and mix together.
To serve: In a wide dinner bowl, spoon in some couscous and add the shredded chicken on top, making sure to spoon a little bit of the broth in your bowl as well. Lastly, add toppings of cilantro or parsley, sheep feta, and toasted pine nuts.
Leftovers keep well in the refrigerator for a few days.