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Moroccan Chicken Soup

Serves 4

 

Moroccan Chicken Soup I love the exotic smells and flavors of Moroccan cuisine. This dish was inspired by my collaboration with chef Matthew Kenney--a real Moroccan food devotee--on our book Matthew Kenney's Mediterranean Cooking. Serve it with pocketless pita bread or other flatbread.

 

2 tablespoons olive oil
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves,
   about 6 ounces each, or
   18 ounces chicken tenders
1 medium onion, about 8 ounces
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon hot paprika or 3/4 teaspoon
   sweet paprika and 1/4 teaspoon
   cayenne pepper
5 cups chicken stock
2 medium zucchini, about 12 ounces
1/2 cup instant couscous
One 16-ounce can chickpeas
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 sprigs cilantro

 

1. Put the oil in a deep, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Cut the chicken into 1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes. Add to the skillet, raise the heat to high, and stir once or twice.

2. While the chicken browns, peel and quarter the onion and put in a food processor. Pulse until just chopped. Add the onion, cumin, ginger, and paprika to the skillet. Stir and cook for 1 minute. Add the stock to the skillet and stir with a wide wooden spoon, scraping any bits from the bottom. Cover and bring to a boil, about 2 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, trim the zucchini and slice in half lengthwise. Then cut crosswise into 1/4-inch wide half-moons. When the soup comes to a boil, add the zucchini and the couscous to the skillet, stir, and cover.

4. Open the can of chickpeas into a small colander, rinse, and drain briefly. Add to the skillet. Cover and let the soup return to a boil, then lower the heat slightly so the soup simmers briskly for 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chop the leaves from the cilantro sprigs. Stir into the soup, cook for 1 minute, and serve in soup plates.

 

Cooking to Beat the Clock:
Delicious, Inspired Meals in 15 Minutes

By Sam Gugino
Photographs by Dawn Smith
Chronicle Books
Paperback, $16.95
40 full-color photographs
Publication Date: January 1999
ISBN: 0-8118-1860-8
Recipe Reprinted by permission.

 

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