Moroccan chicken and chickpeas with preserved lemon and cauliflower couscous

Moroccan chicken and chickpeasI typically use only practical and affordable ingredients in my recipes, however, my dear mother bought me a jar of preserved lemons because she thought I would like to try them (plus she knows that I am too tight with my money to buy my own jar – my frugalness should be evident from the chip on the plate above). I don’t consider preserved lemons a practical, affordable or even a necessary food ingredient but I like experimenting with food so I gave them a try in this Moroccan chicken and chickpeas.

Preserved lemons are basically just lemons pickled in a brine of water and salt. As you can imagine, they are quite bitter and salty, but I actually really liked them. I used some of the preserved lemons in the cauliflower ‘couscous’ that I served with this dish and that was tasty too. This made just enough for us for two nights as the boyfriend had his with steamed white rice, and the chicken tasted better the next day. This meal was fairly quick and easy to prepare and provided everything I needed, with protein from the chicken, fibre, sufficient carbohydrates and vitamins and minerals from the chickpeas and vegetables. There was even some fats provided by the almonds in the cauliflower couscous.

Moroccan chicken and chickpeas 2Moroccan chicken and chickpeas with preserved lemons and cauliflower couscous

Ingredients

1 clove garlic, finely minced

1 brown onion, sliced finely

1 vegetable stock cube

1 large chicken breast, cubed

2 carrots, chopped

1 red capsicum, diced

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon turmeric

½ teaspoon stevia

½ a 400 gram tin of crushed tomatoes

1 wedge of preserved lemon, finely chopped

Salt

Cauliflower couscous (one large serve)

1 tablespoon almonds

¼ head of cauliflower, cut into florets

½ a wedge of preserved lemon

½ teaspoon cumin

Salt

Utensils

Chopping board

Sharp knife

Non-stick saucepan

Wooden spoon

Measuring cups and spoons

Food processor

Non-stick fry pan

Method

  • Add the garlic, onion and crumbled vegetable stock cube to a non-stick saucepan along with about ¼ cup of water. Cook on high heat until the onion starts to turn transparent. Add in the chicken and cook until the chicken is not quite cooked through (about 5 minutes – I quickly chopped the carrots and capsicum in between stirring the chicken).
  • Turn the heat down to medium and add in the carrot and capsicum. Briefly cook the vegetables then add in the remaining ingredients plus about ½ cup of water.
  • Lightly simmer for about 10 – 12 minutes stirring occasionally. The sauce should evaporate and thicken.
  • While the chicken is cooking prepare the cauliflower couscous by firstly pulsing the almonds in a food processor until they are finely chopped. Add in the cauliflower florets, the preserved lemon, cumin and salt and continue processing until the cauliflower resembles the texture of couscous.
  • Cook the cauliflower couscous in a dry non-stick fry pan, stirring frequently, until it is golden brown. Serve the Moroccan chicken and chickpeas over the cauliflower couscous.

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