I very seldom do this, but one day when my daughter and son-in-law were coming for supper, I decided to make the entire menu of a column in Fine Cooking Magazine (no. 96). I made the chicken stew, saffron couscous, arugula salad with almonds and even the ginger creme brulee. It was all outstanding and this recipe has become a favorite dish in our house – so much so, that my 11-year old, Yitzy, requested this for dinner on his birthday. It is a large recipe and easily feeds a crowd of ten to twelve. Its’ Moroccan flavors lend a homeyness to the dish while infusing the entire house with delicious aromas during cooking.
Fine Cooking Magazine No.96
Chicken, Lemon & Olive Stew
- 6 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 25)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 1 Tbsp ground turmeric
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp. ground coriander
- 3 small dried red chiles, crumbled
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 quart low-salt chicken broth
- Finely grated zest and juice of 4 lemons (you won’t use all the juice)
- 2 cups canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 2 cup small pitted green olives
Season chicken all over with 2 tsp. salt and 2 tsp. pepper. Heat the oil in an 8-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches so as not to crowd the pan, brown the chicken all over, about 3 minutes per side, transferring each batch to a plate or bowl. It’ll take about 4 batches and 24 minutes total to brown all the chicken. The bottom of the pan will be brown, that’s OK.
Reduce to medium heat, add the onions and garlic and cook until the onions are softened and golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, chiles, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaves, cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Add the chicken broth, lemon zest, and 1/2 cup of the lemon juice. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for 30 minutes.
Return the chicken and any accumulated juices to the pot. Stir in the chickpeas and olives. Increase the heat to medium high and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes more. Stir in 1 Tbsp. of the remaining lemon juice and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over the Saffron Couscous.
3 cups (1.5 lbs) couscous
3 cups low-salt chicken broth
4 Tbs. margarine
1/2 tsp. saffron threads, crumbled
4 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Put the couscous in a large bowl, set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the chicken broth, butter, saffron, and 1 tsp. salt over medium-high heat until the butter is melted and the broth is hot. Pour the mixture over the couscous. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap until the liquid has been absorbed by the couscous, 10 min. Drizzle with olive oil then using a fork, gently mix the couscous and break apart any clumps.