North African Chicken Stew

Hello and Happy 2011 (16 days late)! Today, in the New Years tradition of eating right and getting back into shape I’m starting off the year with a delicious and nutritious African Stew. I was SO excited to make this for several reasons; chief among them that I got to break in my brand spanking new Le Creuest dutch oven, courtesy of Brian (newly minted as the coolest guy around). I LOVE THIS POT, and I swear that the taste of everything cooked in it is elevated to the nth degree, and I’m not exaggerating one bit. 

Today I’m also cracking in a new way of blogging that shows you step by step how I put a particular recipe together. I can’t promise that every post from here on out will look this way as there are inherent challenges to wielding a camera while simultaneously cooking, but I will do my best. So ready or not here we go!

Start by heating a drizzle of oil in your beautiful dutch oven over medium heat. Dice 1.25 lbs. of boneless skinless chicken into bite size pieces and toss with a mixture of smoked paprika, cumin salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the pot stirring occasionally until brown on both sides about 4 min total.

Next, add one red onion sliced into half moons and two carrots cut into quarter inch circles.

Next add in chicken broth, apple cider vinegar, and lemon zest. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain at brisk simmer. If at this point you’re scratching your head over the addition of vinegar and lemon to a soup just trust me, the result will be tangy deliciousness.

After about 5 min the chicken should feel firm and cooked through and you can turn off the heat. Finally stir in a 1/3 cup of Tunisian pesto; a delightfully fresh tasting combination of of parsley, cilantro, almonds, and a smidgen of garlic. To serve cook up a bit of couscous divide into bowls and then ladle the stew over. Now dig in! I promise you’ll find this soup absolutely delightful.

North African Chicken Stew


Food Network’s

Making it Easy

4 Servings

1.5 cups chicken broth

1 cup couscous

4 tsps. kosher salt

1 Tblsp. unsalted butter

1 Tblsp. vegetable oil

ground black pepper to taste

1.25 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breast cut into bite size pieces

1 tsp. ground cumin

1 tsp. smoked paprika

1 small red onion cut into 1/4 inch thick half moons

2 carrots cut into 1/4 inch rounds

1 2/3 cups chicken broth

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

the zest of one lemon 

1/3 cup Tunisian Pesto (recipe below)

Bring the 1.5 cups chicken broth to boil and add in the couscous, 1 tsp. of salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat, cover, and set aside while you make the stew.

Heat the oil and butter in a dutch oven. Season the chicken with the remaining salt, cumin, paprika, and pepper to taste. Cook stirring occasionally until browned all over 3- 5 min. Add the carrots, onion, 1 and 2/3 chicken broth, vinegar, and lemon zest; bring to a boil. Turn down heat to maintain a simmer, cover and cook until the chicken is just firm and the carrots are tender about 5-8 min.

Stir the pesto into the stew. Fluff the couscous with a fork and mound it in 4 soup bowls. Spoon some chicken stew over each portion and serve. Yum!!!

Tunisian Pesto

From Making it Easy

Makes 1 cup

2 cups packed fresh cilantro

1 cup packed fresh italian parsley

1/4 cup almonds

1-2 cloves garlic

1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 pinch cayenne pepper

Combine the cilantro, parsley, almonds, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/3 cup olive oil and and process until smooth and fully incorporated. Add the salt and a pinch of cayenne pepper.  If using immediately add the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. If freezing for later use transfer to an airtight container and pour the remaining oil on top.