Quick Fix Meal after a Day in Madaba: Moroccan Chicken Skewers with Couscous with Currents, Mint, and Parsley


Moroccan Chicken Skewers with Couscous with Currents, Barberries (if I could find them), Mint, and Parsley

We came home exhausted from our excursion to Madaba yesterday afternoon, but I’m not sure why because we didn’t really do much or even walk that far. Lucky for me, I had prepared the marinade Friday afternoon to let the chicken marinate overnight and only needed to prepare the couscous, which only took about 30 minutes.
I love this recipe from Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes because it’s quick (with some advance planning), doesn’t require the use of my propane oven (it’s grilled) and it’s always good.
We sat on the back patio, enjoyed the cool breeze, and drank some excellent, inexpensive Rose (only $4 JD’s).

Moroccan Chicken Skewers

Marinade:

  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbl. ground cumin
  • 1 tbl. caraway seeds
  • 1 tbl. sambal oelek (or ½ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes)
  • 1 tbl. paprika
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 pinch saffron threads

Chicken:

  • 2.5 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken cut into 1.5 in. pieces
  • Salt & pepper
  • chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or cilantro

Marinade: Puree the marinade ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Thread the chicken onto bamboo skewers and place in a large baking dish. Pour marinade over chicken and turn to coat well. Cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight.

To make the chicken: Preheat the grill to medium heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper and grill until no longer pink and cooked through, turning frequently, abut 10 minutes.

Transfer the skewers to a platter. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Couscous with Currents, Barberries, and Mint

  • 3 tbl. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 cups couscous
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 1/3 cup currants
  • ¼ cup barberries (optional; found at Persian stores)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
  • ¼ cup fresh orange juice
  • 2 tbl. chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp. grated orange zest
  • Salt and pepper

Combine the olive oil, garlic, salt, turmeric, and 2.5 cups water in a heavy, medium-sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the couscous. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.

Fluff the couscous with a fork and transfer it to a large bowl. Cool slightly.

Stir in the green onions, pine nuts, currants, barberries, mint, orange zest, orange juice, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.