Middle Eastern Chicken Pot and Butter-Nut Couscous

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• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, eyeball it
• 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken chopped into bite-sized pieces
• 1 onion, thinly sliced
• 3 cloves garlic, grated or chopped
• 1 cup shredded carrots
• 1 fresh bay leaf
• 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
• 1 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon coriander
• Pinch ground cinnamon
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 3/4 cup chopped dried fruits - pick 1 or combine: figs, pitted dates, apricots, sultanas
• 1 lemon, zested and juiced
• 3/4 cup pitted mixed olives, chopped
• 4 cups chicken stock, divided
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 3 tablespoons pine nuts
• 1/4 cup slivered or sliced almonds
• 1 1/2 cups couscous
• Handful flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil ripples add the chicken and brown 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Add the onions, garlic, carrots, bay leaf and season with spices, salt and pepper, cook 5 to 6 minutes. Stir the fruits into the chicken and vegetables, add the zest of the lemon, olives and 2 1/2 cups of stock. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes more. Sprinkle with lemon juice and turn off heat. Remove bay leaf.
While chicken simmers, melt butter in a sauce pot over medium heat. Add nuts and lightly toast for a couple of minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups stock and bring up to a boil then stir in couscous. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.