Chicken in Saffron Broth with Moghrabiah and Broad Beans

, from Issue #19. September, 2015
Photography by Damien Van der Vlist.
Chicken in Saffron Broth with Moghrabiah and Broad Beans

Serves: 6


6 free-range or organic chicken marylands (leg and thigh), skin on, bone in
½ cup seasoned flour
1 teaspoon allspice

To cook
2 tablespoons olive oil
small knob of butter
12 pearl onions, peeled
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
2 quarters of preserved lemon
pinch of saffron
750 ml chicken stock
12 baby carrots, scrubbed

To finish
1 cup moghrabiah
1 x 500 gram packet frozen broad beans


Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Combine the seasoned flour and allspice in a shallow bowl. Dust the chicken in the flour, shaking off the excess. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large ovenproof sauté pan and sauté the chicken until a good golden brown all over. If only lightly browned the chicken will look insipid after braising. Transfer to a plate. Tip out any excess fat and add the pearl onions, garlic, ground coriander andcumin seeds, bay leaves, cinnamon stick, preserved lemon and the saffron. Stir then pour in the chicken stock and add the chicken pieces and any juices. Scatter over the carrots and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Cover and cook for 40-50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.

To finish: Cook the moghrabiah in plenty of boiling salted water for 25-30 minutes, until just tender. Drain.

Blanch the broad beans in boiling salted water for 3-4 minutes. Drain, refresh and peel off the grey skins.

Take the chicken and carrots out of the pan and set aside. Cover to keep warm.

Add the cooked moghrabiah to the pan and bring to the boil on the stove top. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add the broad beans and heat through.

To serve: Divide the contents of the pan between warm, shallow serving bowls and top each with a piece of chicken and the carrots. Ladle over the broth. 

Pantry Note: Moghrabiah or Lebanese couscous: consists of small balls of pasta that have been toasted. It cooks slowly (taking about 25-30 minutes) and is best for soups or stews where it turns into pea-sized dumplings. Israeli couscous is similar but smaller in size. Available from good food stores.