20-Minute Moroccan Chicken Stew and Orange Parsley Couscous

I have been intrigued by spices ever since I wrote an article for a newspaper years ago about the value of cooking with them. In fact, I get excited every time I add a new one to my ever-evolving collection because I know that doing so opens up a whole new world of recipe possibilities.

By the way, I created a cultural foods seasonings handout a while back that can help home chefs begin to create their own collection of spices and herbs as they strive to expand their recipe repertoire. And, I’d be happy to send a FREE copy to you! Just subscribe to my blog using the “Subscribe to this Blog” box on any page on my site and I’ll email the freebie–which will answer such questions as, “Which spices are used in Moroccan cuisine?” or “Which herbs are used in Greek foods?”–to you.

Speaking of Moroccan cuisine, I’ve read that it relies heavily upon the use of a variety of spices. Some common ones include cinnamon and turmeric (both of which are considered by some health experts to have anti-inflammatory properties), as well as cumin and paprika. Since I already had each of those in my collection of spices, I thought it would be fun to try to re-create a dish using them recently, so I became determined to find a recipe that would allow me to do that. And, the one that kept surfacing as I did some research was Moroccan Chicken Stew.

The good news was that this hearty stew did include each of the aforementioned spices…and more. However, none of the recipes that I came across seemed right for me. Quite a few of them would’ve required a lot of cooking- or prep time–which was unappealing to me–while others incorporated the use of a pressure- or slow cooker–which I don’t own. Fortunately, I was able to come up with a recipe for Moroccan Chicken Stew that allowed me to make a delicious and healthy meal–which also included Orange Parsley Couscous–in just 20 minutes!

If you’d like to make this meal for your family, save it to your Pinterest board if you have a Pinterest account or print out a PDF of the recipe using the above oval button. (Follow my Quick Cultural Foods Recipes board for another way to easily access my recipes.) For your convenience, this Moroccan Chicken Stew recipe also includes a few links that will enable you to buy some of the ingredients online and have them delivered to your home. If you place an order using my links, I will earn a small commission–at no additional cost to you–from qualifying purchases that will help me to continue to produce blog content like this.

What You’ll Need To Make 20-Minute Moroccan Chicken Stew and Orange Parsley Couscous (Six servings)

*3 Chicken Breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

*4 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

*2 Cups of Frozen Crinkle Cut Carrots (cooked)

*1 15-Ounce Can of Garbanzo Beans (aka Chick Peas)

*1 Cup of Diced Tomatoes

*5 Tablespoons of Dried Parsley, divided

*1/2 Teaspoon of Cinnamon

*1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Cloves

*1/2 Teaspoon of Nutmeg

*1 Teaspoon of Smoked Paprika

*1 Teaspoon of Turmeric

*1/2 Teaspoon of Cumin

*1/2 Teaspoon of Allspice

*2 Cups of Chicken Broth

*6 Ounces of Dried Apricots

*6 Tablespoons of Butter, divided

*1 Teaspoon of Salt

*1 Teaspoon of Pepper

*1.5 Cups of Uncooked Couscous (Should produce 3 cups of cooked couscous)

*2 Oranges

How to Make 20-Minute Moroccan Chicken Stew and Orange Parsley Couscous

1. Heat olive oil over high heat in a deep pan then add the chicken. Cook chicken for 5 minutes, remembering to stir it a few times while it’s cooking to make sure it gets lightly browned on all sides.

2. While the chicken is cooking, microwave the frozen carrots in a microwaveable bowl according to directions and set them aside.

3. You should also prepare the couscous in a small saucepan while the chicken is cooking, making the following changes to the package’s cooking instructions: a. Pour the suggested amount of water into the saucepan, but reduce it by 1/2 cup; b. Squeeze the juice from one orange into a measuring cup and add the juice to the water in the saucepan; c. Stir 2 tablespoons of parsley, 3 tablespoons of butter, and a pinch of salt into the liquid. Bring the liquid to a boil. Then, stir in the couscous, cover the saucepan, and remove it from the burner. (Note: If the saucepan stays on the burner, the couscous could overcook and dry out.) Let it sit covered for 5 minutes while you finish preparing the stew. This will give the liquid time to be absorbed into the couscous.

4. After the chicken has cooked for 5 minutes, keep the pan on high heat and add the broth, cooked carrots, garbanzo beans, tomatoes, the remaining parsley, the remaining butter, and all of the seasonings to your deep pan.

5. Add the apricots to your pan. (I left my apricots whole, but you can cut each of yours in half ahead of time if you’d like to have smaller pieces in your stew.) Bring the stew to a boil, cover it, and allow it to cook for approximately 10 minutes.

6. When the stew has been cooking for about 5 minutes, uncover the couscous and fluff it with a fork to make sure it doesn’t stick together while the stew finishes cooking.

7. When your Moroccan chicken stew is ready, spoon approximately half a cup of couscous into each serving bowl or plate. Then ladle some of the stew on top of the couscous.

8. Slice the second orange and garnish each person’s serving with either half an orange slice (or an entire slice) and enjoy!

Doesn’t this look delicious?

Possible Substitutions and Notes:

1. Chicken broth was used for my recipe, but you could also use vegetable broth.

2. I included organic dried apricots in my recipe. But, I’ve seen other versions of this recipe use raisins or dates. So, you can feel free to use any of these types of dried fruit. Just avoid brands that add sulphur dioxide to their fruit since some people are sensitive to that chemical preservative.

3. Raw carrot chips like these could be used instead of the frozen sliced carrots that I used.

4. If you don’t like couscous or forget to buy some when shopping for your other ingredients, you could ladle your stew on top of white rice, brown rice or cauliflower rice using the same seasoning I used for my couscous.

5. Cut the apricots and orange slices ahead of time and store them in a food storage containers or bags until you’re ready to use them or ask a family member to cut them for you while you’re cooking.


    • Shelley

      Alia, thank you for commenting on this post. I hope the reply that I shared with Otman will help you better understand why I share recipes with parents and why I named the recipe as I did.

  • Otman

    As a Moroccan native, I have never seen this recipe or of it till now. I would hope that you do some research on before calling it Moroccan chicken stew, which doesn’t exist

    • Shelley

      Hello Otman. Thank you for taking the time to comment on my recipe. As I’ve shared previously in my recipe posts, I started this series for a few reasons: 1. to make mealtime less stressful for busy parents by sharing quick versions of recipes that may normally take a longer time to make; 2. to give those busy parents support and inspiration as they attempt to introduce new flavors and foods to their children; and 3. to highlight many of the wonderful cuisines that make up the beautiful world that we live in. And, based upon the positive feedback that I’ve been receiving, the series–which followers know include recipes “inspired” by different cultural cuisines– has been appreciated by the audience for which it was created. And, I’m very thankful for that. ❤

      In response to your comment about doing research before sharing a recipe, I do that every time; that’s how I knew about the seasoning that I used in my recipe, among other things. However, if you know of any specific resources I should use–or chefs that I should reach out to in the future–please let me know. I always enjoy learning from others who know more than I do about different cuisines! 😀