Monday, August 12, 2013

Ras el hanout chicken meatballs and israeli couscous stew

The inspiration behind this post came about two days ago, when Virginie at Chefnini (if you don't know her yet, she is an amazing cook! She posts exclusively in French however) posted an entry on couscous-flavored meatballs. Couscous as in the north-african stew dish, not just the grain, of course! I thought this was such a genious idea that I decided to adapt it to the pound of chicken I had waiting to be transformed into deliciousness in the fridge.

Here's what I came up with, with whatever was around in my pantry.

Note: Sorry guys, no step by step photos for this one. I concocted this on a whim, with no natural day light so there was no point... Still, hope you will try (and like) this recipe!

INGREDIENTS (3-4 people):
- 3 chicken breasts
- 1 shallot
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 tsp ras el hanout (click here for a recipe)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (more or less, depending on the moisture level)
- 1 egg
- one 15oz can of diced tomatoes
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup israeli couscous
- fresh cilantro

- chop the shallot, garlic and chicken very finely with a food processor (or meat grinder if you're lucky enough to have one!)
- add an egg to the mixture and mix thoroughly
- add the spices, salt and pepper and adjust moisture level with the flour, until you are satified with the texture
- form into small meatballs and dredge in flour
- brown the meatballs in a little bit of olive oil and butter, over high heat
- when the meatballs are golden brown (but still raw inside), add the can of tomatoes with the juice, the broth and israeli couscous
- bring back to a boil, lower the heat and simmer covered on low for about 15-20 minutes, or until the meatballs and couscous are cooked through
- if the stew gets too dry before the couscous is cooked, add some warm water (I personally like this stew a bit on the liquid side)
- serve piping hot and sprinkled with chopped fresh cilantro
- enjoy!

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