Ever since I bought a book from the Rukmini Iyer Roasting Tin series I have been playing around more with one pot dishes. Her books are fabulous and full of inspiration, I highly recommend them. To be honest during the week I am slow to turn on the oven and just want food I can make quickly on the hob. And only one pot to wash up, what’s not to love?! Like my One Pot Cajun Chicken with Chorizo and Rice.
I also find using Moroccan inspired flavours means you can have a delicious meal in very little time. This One Pot Moroccan Chicken with Couscous has all the flavour of a delicious slow cooked tagine dish but in a fraction of the time.
Useful tips & links:
- This recipe calls for chicken breasts as they cook quickly and I prefer them as a healthier option to be honest. If you want to use boneless skinless chicken thighs you will need to increase the cooking time.
- You can easily make this vegetarian by using a suitable stock and replacing the chicken with more veg and adding chickpeas.
- Use any veg you like for this but take into account how long your veg will take to cook. For instance, I use carrots in this and they take longer than squash so that will need to be taken into account when timing it. I did use squash in the one pictured here, but I prefer to use more carrots instead, I think they have more flavour. Sweet potatoes are also a good option.
- Rice, regular couscous or orzo pasta could be used here as the starchy element. I’ve gone with giant couscous, often sold as pearl or Israeli couscous, which is more of a pasta than couscous. You can read more about it here. The cooking time of your dish depends on the carb you have used, the giant couscous I have takes 10 minutes to cook, some can take up to 20, rice takes longer again. Judge the timings from the instructions on the packet.
- If you have preserved lemon it would be delicious here. Olives are also great but I’ve left them out so that it will appeal to all.
- I keep it simple here but you can serve it with natural yogurt and pomegranate arils too if you want to make it more fancy.
- There are only 2 of us but I make a full pot and use the leftovers for lunch the next day as it also tastes great served at room temperature. I like to crumble feta on top when serving it this way.
- For more Moroccan inspired meals, have a look at my Moroccan Chicken Salad with Blood Orange and Feta, or my Lamb Tagine.
- Have a look at Sheila’s Moroccan Chicken on Gimme The Recipe.
One Pot Moroccan Chicken with Couscous
- Olive oil
- 4 chicken breasts
- 2 heaped tablespoons of Ras el Hanout
- The juice of a lemon
- Salt and pepper
- 1 shallot, peeled and diced
- ½ an aubergine, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 roasted red pepper, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 tablespoon of harissa paste
- 1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon of ground coriander
- 500ml of hot chicken stock
- 100ml of passata
- 300g of giant couscous (see useful tips and links)
- A handful of spinach
- 1 tablespoon of honey
- Toasted flaked almonds
- Mix a tablespoon of the olive oil with the Ras el Hanout and half of the lemon juice to make a marinade. Coat the chicken with this and marinade in the fridge overnight or if you don’t have time, at room temperature for 30 minutes while you prep the veg. If the chicken breasts are very large you should slice them in half or butterfly them so that they will cook quickly.
- When ready to cook, heat a heavy wide shallow pan over a medium-high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and brown all over in the pan until fully sealed. Remove the chicken and set aside.
- Leave the spices and juices in the pan, removing any bits that may be burnt. Lower the heat to medium and add the diced shallots, aubergine and carrots and cook until soft.
- Add the roasted pepper, harissa, garlic, paprika and coriander and cook for another couple of minutes, stirring so that the veg is coated with the spices.
- Pour in the hot stock and passata and stir through. Add in the giant couscous and place the chicken on top.
- Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer and cover. Cook for approx 10 minutes, depending on the size of the couscous you are using. Stir occasionally to make sure the couscous is not sticking to the pan and add water if it looks like it will dry out.
- After this time, check that the couscous and chicken are cooked. Add in the rest of the lemon juice, honey and spinach and stir through so that the spinach wilts in the pot. Season with salt and pepper as needed and garnish with chopped parsley or coriander and toasted flaked almonds.