Moroccan Chicken Stew with Lemon “Couscous” Pilaf

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┬áresemble couscous or rice
1 Vidalia onion diced fine
sea salt
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.


  1. Big Dude
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 6:37 AM | Permalink

    While visitng one of our kids who was stationed in Germany, we all went to the Spanish Riviera for a week which was close to Gibraltar. Bev saw a flyer for a day trip over to Tangiers, Morocco and off we went. The tour included a traditional lunch (with couscous of course) and we really liked the flavors. That's a long way of saying we'll have to give thev stew a try as it looks and sounds delicious and similar to what we ate there.

  2. Heather (Heather's Dish)
    Posted September 12, 2011 at 7:57 AM | Permalink

    aw, i remember when my sister and i would say we wouldn't eat things…and now those things are some of our favorite meals! i love the 'couscous' out of cauliflower though, sounds so yummy and good for you!

  3. Karen
    Posted September 13, 2011 at 3:41 PM | Permalink

    Never would have guessed that was cauliflower! The flavors in the stew sound just right!

  4. Natasha @ Saved by the Egg Timer
    Posted September 30, 2011 at 11:59 AM | Permalink

    Yes! You know my new found love for cauliflower has def "stuck" in my kitchen. I have a post next wk that I think you will enjoy that is a slight Paleo/SCD with the cauli! I will be trying this one soon, thanks ­čÖé

  5. Stephanie
    Posted March 25, 2012 at 7:53 PM | Permalink

    Love the new site! It looks great and easy to navigate, GREAT job!
    I went straight to the Paleo tag, lol, thanks for putting that there and I look forward to seeing more recipes there.
    May God bless you in your work Robin!

  6. Cheri
    Posted May 19, 2012 at 11:26 PM | Permalink

    Although the directions say “…add the tomatoes and chicken,” I can’t find tomatoes in the list of ingredients. What kind, and how much?

    • Robin Sue
      Posted May 20, 2012 at 7:30 AM | Permalink

      Thank you Cheri, I fixed the recipe! Enjoy
      Robin Sue

  7. Sharon
    Posted February 6, 2013 at 12:07 PM | Permalink

    This is so insanely tasty! I made this last night, and although the cook time is a bit longer than what I go for after work, it was so worth the wait! The flavors were bright, but complex, and extremely satisfying. I will be making this over and over, and have shared the recipe. I appreciate you sharing your ideas and recipes! I also have to say the way to “rice” cauliflower through a blender is brilliant!

    • Robin Sue
      Posted February 6, 2013 at 12:49 PM | Permalink

      Thank you! Glad you were happy with the recipe!

  8. Posted April 14, 2013 at 10:18 PM | Permalink

    Great recipe – made this tonight for guests. I ended up using the seasonings on the chicken versus mixing in – under the theory it stuck to the meat better. Mine was a normal tomato color – your photo looks better:-)

    I also used bacon fat and it was great – plan to try with lamb next time.

  9. Robert
    Posted November 11, 2014 at 12:59 PM | Permalink

    I am just a little concerned over the instruction to cook the riced cauliflower and onions in melted butter over medium high heat for 40 mins, stirring every 5 mins. Aren’t you going to burn it? I have seen other cauliflower pilaf recipes that call for cooking 3 to 4 mins. Your recipe looks terrific otherwise but would like some guidance on this one item. Thanks.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted November 11, 2014 at 3:48 PM | Permalink

      There is a lot of moisture that has to cook out that is why it takes so long. It’s 2 whole heads plus a stick of butter. Try reducing the heat to medium and see how it works at that level. Thanks! Enjoy!

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