Moroccan chicken and couscous broth recipe image

Print Moroccan chicken and couscous broth

Somewhere between a soup and a stew, this healthy chicken recipe makes a good midweek meal. The ingredients list may look a little long, but most of them are spices you'll have in the cupboard. To make this a complete meal in a bowl, stir in some spinach for the last couple of minutes of cooking.


  • 4 chicken legs (or large bone-in thighs)
  • 1 onion, cut into wedges, root intact
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 tsp whole coriander seeds
  • Handful fresh parsley stalks
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions (red or white), finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1-2 red chillies (depending on heat & preference), de-seeded & finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground paprika
  • 2 tsp dried mint
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 100g couscous
  • Small handful fresh coriander, chopped
  • 1 preserved lemon, rinsed well to remove any excess salt, inner flesh removed & discarded, rind finely chopped
  • Seeds of ½ pomegranate (optional)
  • Salt & pepper


  1. Put the chicken legs in a large saucepan with the onion wedges, lemon, cinnamon, coriander and parsley. Cover with 2 litres of water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and gently simmer for 45 minutes.
  2. Scoop out the chicken pieces (check they are cooked through) and leave until cool enough to handle. Remove and discard the skin and tear the flesh into strips, being careful to remove all the bones.
  3. Strain off the stock, discarding any solids. Put the liquid back in the pan. You need about 1½ litres, so boil to reduce if necessary. Leave to cool slightly and skim off any fat.
  4. Heat the oil in a heavy-based pan. Add the chopped onions and cook on a low heat for a few minutes to soften. Add the garlic and chillies and cook for another 2 minutes. Stir in the cumin, paprika, mint and tomato purée.
  5. Pour in the broth and bring to the boil. Add the couscous and reduce the heat. Simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the couscous is cooked.
  6. Add the cooked chicken and stir for a 2 minutes to warm through. Season to taste. Scatter over the coriander, preserved lemon and pomegranate seeds to serve.
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