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Couscous with Lemon Chicken

Recipe from: Comme ci Comme ca

Roll over to New York City to the Comme Ci Comme Ca truck where they serve up gourmet Moroccan food such as their lovely Lemon Chicken Couscous.

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VEGETABLES & SAUCE
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon olive oil
1-1/2 tablespoons salt
1/2 tablespoon pepper
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 liters water
1/2 handful parsley leaves, chopped
1/2 handful cilantro leaves, chopped
1 cup chickpeas, soaked overnight
3 turnips, peeled and halved
6 carrots, peeled and halved
1 small butternut squash, quartered (or a small section of pumpkin, cut into 3” pieces)
4 or 5 small zucchinis (long or 8-ball round), ends removed and halved
2 or 3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and halved (optional)

Mix the onion, tomatoes, oil and spices in the bottom of a pan. Cook uncovered over medium to medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until browned and the onions and tomatoes have formed a thick sauce. Add the water, parsley, cilantro, and chickpeas. Cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium, and simmer rapidly for 25 to 30 minutes.

Add the carrots, turnips, and sweet potatoes and cook about 15 minutes. Add the zucchini and butternut squash and cook for another 25 minutes. 
At this point, all of the vegetables should be cooked. Test the vegetables to be sure, cooking longer if necessary. Taste the sauce – it should be salty and peppery. Adjust the seasoning if desired.


LEMON CHICKEN
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon thyme
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 preserved lemon, finely chopped
1/4 cup olive oil

Cut the chicken breasts into bite-size pieces 
In a big bowl, mix all ingredients very well, cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Skewer marinated chicken.
On a very hot grill, cook chicken skewers for 7–10 minutes, basting frequently and turning occasionally.

COUSCOUS
3 cups water
1 tablespoon salted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon turmeric
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups couscous

In a large saucepan, combine water, butter, salt, cinnamon, turmeric and olive oil, bring to boil. Remove from heat. Add couscous, stir very well and cover. Let stand for 10 minutes. Toss the couscous and rub it between your palms to break up any balls or clumps.
To serve the couscous, shape it into a mound with a well in the center. Put the vegetables into the well, and arrange the lemon chicken on top and all around. Distribute the sauce evenly over the couscous and vegetables, reserving one or two bowlfuls to offer on the side for those who prefer more sauce.

Yield: 4-6 servings