Tag Archives: Couscous

Arabic-Style Belly Dancing Chicken

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As mentioned in the “About” section of my blog, I am of Middle Eastern descent on my mother’s side. I enjoy the richness and the intense flavors of their cuisine. I love experimenting with food in my kitchen. Recently, I created this dish, made with Middle Eastern couscous, chicken thighs and some aromatic spices indigenous to the region. It is so delectable, it makes me want to do the belly dancing. Put on your apron, grab a glass of wine (if you drink) and follow me in Gina’s kitchen.

Serves: 6-8 as a main meal – Level of difficulty: Medium

Ingredients:
12 chicken thighs skinless, bone-in
Olive oil – Follow recipe
2 tablespoons sumac + more
2 teaspoons 7 spices *
1 teaspoon salt
Black pepper to taste
1 small red onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cups Middle Eastern couscous
32 ounces lower sodium chicken broth
½ cup chickpeas, drained
½ red bell pepper cut in julienne
Flat leave parsley for garnish
16 ounces Greek 2% yogurt, sumac, olive oil to taste

Preparation:

1) Season chicken with 3 tbsp. olive oil, sumac, 7 spices, salt and black pepper.  Let it marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes.

2) In a large Dutch pan, on medium-high to high heat,  cover the bottom of the pan with olive oil.  Sear the chicken,3 minutes on each side.  Be careful, as there will be some splattering.  Set aside. Do a second batch, and repeat. Set aside.
3) In the same pan, saute’ the onions, 2 minutes, garlic, 1 minute, add tomato paste and stir until it caramelizes, another 2 minutes or so. Stir well.
4) Add the couscous, continue stirring for 1 to 2 minutes.  Add chicken broth.  Layer all the chicken thighs on top, add chickpeas, bell peppers.
5) Bring to a boil. Lower the flame to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. It should come out nice and moist.  Garnish with parsley.
6) In a serving bowl, place the yogurt, sprinkle with sumac and olive oil to taste. Serve with the meal.

Arabic-Style Belly Dancing Chicken
Arabic-Style Belly Dancing Chicken

 

7 Spices
7 Spices
Couscous
Couscous

 

Greek yogurt, Sumac, olive oil
Greek yogurt, Sumac, olive oil

Cook’s notes:
1) The 7Spices contain, coriander, allspice, cloves, nutmeg and other spices as indicated on label.
2) The sumac and 7Spices can be found at Middle-Eastern/Arabic specialty stores.

I hope you have enjoyed this recipe, and will attempt to make this delightful dish.

Recipe developed and created by: Foodiewinelover
Photos taken by Gina Martino Zarcadoolas for Foodiewinelover

Gina Zarcadoolas
My Food, Wine & Travel Lifestyles
WSET-Level 2 Certified Wine Connoisseur
Culinary Aficionado & Lover of Global Cuisines

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Middle Eastern Couscous with Clams & Scallops

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Mise en Place

 

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Clams and scallops

 

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Onions and garlic sautéing in olive oil

 

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Simmering

 

Middle Eastern Couscous With Clams & Scallops. This is an adaptation of Doreen Colondres’s culinary creation from La Cocina No Muerde, which translates, The Kitchen Doesn’t Bite. Doreen is a celebrity chef, of Puerto Rican descent, and is very proud of her heritage.  She has appeared in many television shows across the globe. Doreen is often featured on the widely popular morning show, Despierta America, which can be seen on the Latin channel, Univision.  I had the pleasure of meeting her in a wine class, and have kept in touch ever since.  Despite her busy schedule, she found the time to make me and our circle of friends, this delicious dish. She inspired me to recreate it in My Kitchen.

Servings: 6-8  Difficulty:  Easy – Medium

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Middle Eastern Couscous, can be found at your local grocery, or specialty stores.
  •  3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, sliced
  •  4-6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes
  • 1.5 tsp. paprika
  • 4 cups chicken broth, low sodium
  • 1/2 cup of dry white wine
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 18 cherrystone clams *
  • 1/2 lb. bay scallops
  • Parsley for garnish

Preparation:

1) In a large skillet, on medium-high heat, heat up the olive oil. Sautee’ the onions for couple minutes, then the garlic for 1 minute.  Add tomatoes, cook for 2 minutes. (If you have time, you can roast the tomatoes in the oven with olive oil to obtain a nice caramelization, prior to using them in this dish).

2) Deglaze with the wine, 1-2 minutes. Drop in the couscous, stir and cook for 2 minutes, add paprika, salt & pepper. Pour chicken broth, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer for about 10 minutes, stir occasionally.

3) Add clams and scallops. Cover and simmer for an additional 10 minutes. It should come out moist, just like you see it in the featured picture. Plate it and sprinkle the parsley on top. This is an amazing dish that is sure to please all seafood lovers.

* I prefer using the little neck clams, as they are tastier, but my grocery store didn’t carry them that day. Use two dozen of them, since they are smaller.

The variety of white wines you can use to pair with this dish is endless. I recommend a Vinho Verde or a nice white Rioja. The choice is yours, just make sure the wine is nicely chilled.

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Voila!

Bon Appetit from Gina’s Kitchen!
Recipe inspired by: Doreen Colondres
Recreated by: FoodieWineLover
Pictures taken by : FoodieWineLover

FoodiewineloverDec2014 052 white Rioja
My wine suggestion. We had it at a Spanish wine tasting, and it was amazingly elegant.