Steamed Moroccan Chicken with Couscous and Preserved Lemon

, from Issue #23. September, 2015
Photography by Vanessa Wu.
Steamed Moroccan Chicken with Couscous and Preserved Lemon

Serves: 4


6 boneless chicken thighs, skin on
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

70 grams raisins, roughly chopped
70 grams slivered almonds, toasted and roughly chopped
1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1⁄2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley or coriander
3 tablespoons softened butter

6 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 carrots, peeled and cut into thick batons
1 onion, cut through the root into wedges
1 cinnamon stick
zest and juice 1 orange

Cous Cous
1 1⁄2 cups couscous
1 1⁄2 cups reserved hot broth
chopped mint

To finish
2 quarters preserved lemon
cooked green beans - optional


Chicken: Place the chicken skin side down on the bench and season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Stuffing: Combine all the ingredients in a bowl to make a thick paste. Divide the stuffing between the chicken, mounding it on one side of each thigh. Fold over and tie with kitchen string to secure. Brush with olive oil, season and place in a steamer basket.

Broth: Place all the ingredients in a wok and bring to the boil. Place the steamer over the broth. Cover and cook for 30 minutes or until the chicken is fully cooked.

Remove the chicken to a plate, cover loosely and rest for 10 minutes. This allows the chicken to ‘set up’ before slicing; otherwise it tends to fall apart.

Take out 1 1⁄2 cups of hot broth and keep the rest hot.

Put the couscous in a bowl, pour over the hot broth and cover tightly. Leave for 10 minutes. Fluff up with a fork, season and stir through the chopped mint.

To serve: Spoon the couscous into a serving bowl. Snip off the string and remove the skin if desired. Slice the chicken in half on the diagonal. Arrange the chicken, the vegetables from the broth and the beans, over the couscous. Pour over the hot broth. Scrape the flesh from the preserved lemons and discard. Slice the skin thinly and scatter over the chicken.