I know, I know, it’s Monday and you would rather see something scrumptious like a big fat chocolate cake dripping with dark chocolate ganache than a healthy plate of chicken stew. I know this because my google analytics tell me so. It has been a while since I cooked, I mean really cooked. You know, the kind of cooking where you saute, chop, dice, sear, adjust seasonings, and simmer. Yeah, that kind of cooking, the kind where at the end you add more layers of flavor by stirring in the lemon juice and zest, along with some fresh cilantro, then plate it beautifully only to hear your precious offspring gag, “oh gross, I’m not eating that.” And I wake up to the reality that I am cooking for kids. Yuck. But wait a minute, once I got THIS stew down their little picky gullets, I heard a few mmm’s, and found they were helping themselves to seconds. Triumph!
Why did it go down so well? While I served mine over the “couscous”, I served theirs over spaghetti with a small helping of the couscous on the side to try. I will health them up, little by little, and if it takes a refined carb here or there to do it, then so be it. They will eventually like all the vegetables I cook. Eventually.
The Couscous is actually finely chopped cauliflower cooked in pilaf fashion that tastes very nutty, and proved to be a perfect companion to this stew. As well as Palio Friendly.
Moroccan Chicken Stew with Lemon “Couscous” Pilaf
3 T. olive oil
2 medium Vidalia onions diced fine
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow or red pepper
2 cloves of garlic, minced
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 T. olive oil- I used bacon grease
1 t. ground ginger
2 t. cumin
1 T. smoked paprika
1 t. coriander
1/2 t. turmeric
1 t. cinnamon
1/4-1/2 t. cayenne pepper
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
sea salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup packed, loosely chopped cilantro
juice of one lemon
In a Dutch oven over medium heat saute onions and peppers in the oil. Meanwhile, in another skillet over medium high heat, saute chicken in olive oil until golden on each side. Set aside. Once the onions are translucent add the garlic and cook another minute. Add in the spices- ginger through cayenne and let cook another minute then add the tomatoes and chicken. Cover and cook on the lowest setting for 90 minutes, stirring occasionally. Just before serving, salt and pepper to taste, and stir in the lemon juice and cilantro. Serve with the Pilaf. About 50 minutes before the stew is done prepare the Lemon “Couscous” Pilaf…
1 stick butter
2 heads cauliflower “riced” to resemble couscous or rice
1 Vidalia onion diced fine
Zest of one lemon
In a very large skillet over medium high heat, melt butter. Add cauliflower and onions, and cook uncovered for 40 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes until the entire batch is golden and nutty. Salt to taste and just before serving stir in the lemon zest. Serves 8.
Note- You can also serve this stew over rice of choice, pasta, real couscous, or quinoa.
Another great stew? Steak and Guinness Pie.