Bonus… Two recipes in one post :)

I had been dying to try Moroccan food ever since I saw a season 1 episode of Chef Abroad. If you’re not familiar with the show, it features Canadian chef, Michael Smith, “…on his latest culinary adventure as he circumnavigates the globe, meets fascinating people, and does amazing things with food.”

Being a picky eater (nothing like in the past, however, where I could count the foods I loved on one hand!) it was rare for me to find virtually every food that was shown very appealing. In fact, there was nothing I would’ve loved more than to buy a plane ticket to Morocco and sample every available food until I made myself sick!

Naturally, I began researching recipes and tried to find the most authentic ones possible. I did this off and on for about a year. This last week, however, I decided it was time to stop procrastinating and put a Moroccan spread on my table!

So after a lot of searching and researching, I finally found two recipes, one for a chicken tagine and another for couscous (their blog photos are so much nicer than mine, sigh!) Anyway, I made changes according to, a) what I could find in the store, b) personal tastes, and c) the all-important budget!

So here they are…

Chicken Tagine

2 Tbs. olive oil, divided
4 chicken breasts
1/2 cup sliced onion
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh grated ginger
1 cup water
3/4 cup dried apricots, diced
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
2 Tbs. honey
Juice & zest from 1 lemon
1 Tbs. fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Tbs. fresh parsley, chopped

Heat 1 Tbs. oil in a medium skillet; add the chicken and brown on all sides; set aside. Heat remaining oil in the same skillet, add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes. Add garlic and ginger; sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the apricots, water and spices, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add the chicken, honey, lemon zest & juice; simmer, covered, for 25 minutes. Remove from heat, mix in the cilantro and parsley and serve.


2-3 cups cubed sweet potato
3 medium carrots, chopped
3 medium zucchini, sliced
1/4 cup sliced onion
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 ½ tsp. sea salt, divided
1 ½ tsp. black pepper, divided
3 cups water
2 Tbs. butter
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/8 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. paprika
Pinch cayenne pepper
1 ½ cups pearl (Israeli) couscous
2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 400°F, grease or line a roaster (one with a lid) with parchment paper. Place vegetables in a large bowl, coat with olive oil, sprinkle with 1 tsp. each of salt and pepper. Toss to coat, transfer to the prepared roaster, cover and bake 30 minutes or until veggies are tender. Meanwhile, lightly toast the couscous in a dry pan and bring the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. To the broth, add butter, remaining salt & pepper, spices, and the toasted couscous. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes or until couscous is almost done. Turn off heat and let steam 5 minutes as you would for rice. In a large bowl, combine veggies and couscous. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve. Yields 6 servings.

Both my grandmother and I thought the dish was excellent. The unique blend of spices, (and it is a spicy dish!) combined with the sweetness of the apricots & honey, not to mention the contrasting textures, made for a very delightful meal!

My first ever culinary trip to Morocco :)

My first ever culinary trip to Morocco! Yum! :)


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