Friday, 31 May 2013

Weekly Recipe: Moroccan Chicken and Couscous Soup

I love cooking Moroccan food when I am at home with toddlers because I can put it on and then walk away for a few hours, wander back and throw something else in and then wander away again. This is a chicken soup that I made with two pieces of Maryland chicken that I found in the bottom of the freezer and a chicken breast that didn't get cooked by my parents-in-law the night before. I heated a slurp of olive oil in a soup pot and sealed the chicken in it, then threw in two finely chopped onions and cooked it all on a medium heat until the onion was soft.

Then I added a teaspoon of ground cumin, a teaspoon a paprika and a litre of water and boiled.

I halved two tomatoes and grated them down to the skin (most Moroccan recipes ask you to remove the seeds, but I like them and leave them in). Discard the skin. I put the tomato in the pan along with a tablespoon of tomato paste, a teaspoon of sugar, a cinnamon stick, three diced carrots and half a diced butternut pumpkin. When the pot came to the boil, then I turned the heat down low, covered it and left it to simmer for an hour.

When the chicken was tender, I let the soup cool. Then I fished the chicken and the cinnamon stick out and put the vegetable soup through the blender before returning it to the pot with an additional 500 ml of water and bringing it to the boil.

I shredded the chicken, threw away the bones and gave the skin to the dogs.

Then that went back into the soup with parsley and mint from the garden (coriander would go well too). I stirred in half a cup of couscous very slowly and then simmered the soup for about half an hour, uncovered.

Very nice with some lemon squeezed over the top and toasted bread.

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