In Morocco, couscous is the traditional ending of a meal, served to ensure that no one leaves the table hungry. There are dozens of variations; in this classic preparation, the carrots, chickpeas, zucchini, turnips and butternut squash are great sources of vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals. Together with semolina couscous (a low-fat complex carbohydrate) and lean chicken, this dish is one of the world's most nutritionally balanced meals.
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3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 pounds skinless chicken thighs
2 pounds veal shanks, cut 1 1/2 inches thick
2 large tomatoes—peeled, seeded and quartered
1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 small cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
Large pinch of cayenne pepper
Large pinch of saffron threads, crumbled
10 cilantro sprigs and 10 flat-leaf parsley sprigs, tied in cheesecloth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
3 medium turnips, peeled and quartered
1 fennel bulb, cored and cut lengthwise into thick wedges
1 pound peeled butternut squash, cut into 3-inch chunks
2 large zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 2-inch pieces
Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cups instant couscous (14 ounces)
Harissa or other hot sauce, for serving
How to Make It
In a large soup pot, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until softened, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the onion to a bowl, add the chicken and veal to the pot in a single layer and cook until the meat is browned on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Turn the meat and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes longer.
Add 2 1/2 quarts of water, the cooked onion, the tomatoes, ginger, cinnamon sticks, paprika, cayenne, saffron and herb bundle to the pot and bring to a boil, skimming. Season generously with salt and black pepper. Cover partially and simmer over moderately low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 35 minutes; transfer to a plate. Continue cooking the veal, partially covered, until tender, about 1 1/4 hours longer. Add the veal to the chicken. Discard the herb bundle and cinnamon sticks and refrigerate the broth until chilled; skim off any fat from the surface.
Meanwhile, melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan. Add the couscous and cook over moderately high heat, stirring constantly, until nutty and lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Add 5 1/2 cups of water and a generous pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cover, remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Using 2 forks, fluff the couscous and mound it in 8 large bowls. Spoon the meat, vegetables and broth over the couscous and serve, passing the harissa on the side.
One Serving 619 calories, 15.7 gm total fat, 4.7 gm saturated fat, 68 gm carb.
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