Thursday, September 8, 2011

Lebanese Couscous - Moghrabiyeh

Ingredients: (Servings: 5) 
1 kg chicken 
1 kg fresh Moghrabiyeh * (Lebanese couscous) - Available fresh in Lebanon or dried in International stores. 
1 kg small onions 
1 onion to boil with chicken 
1 cup chickpeas 
3 tablespoons butter/ghee
2 tablespoons caraway 
1 tablespoon black pepper 
1 teaspoon allspiceCloves 
1 teaspoon peppercorns 
4 cups water

Soak the chickpeas in water 24 hours before preparing the dish.   
Cut the chicken into four pieces and wash and fry in a tablespoon of butter. Add to the chicken the peppercorns, cloves, caraway, allspice, one teaspoon salt, cinnamon sticks, and one large onion. Add four cups of water. Add to the chicken the chickpeas and simmer 45 minutes or 5 to 10 minutes in a pressure cooker. 
Peel the small onions and sauté whole onions in butter until tender and yellows. Add to the pot containing the onions a cup of water with a pinch of salt and leave 10 minutes to boil. Take part of the broth from boiling the chicken (1 or 2 cups) and add to onions.Put one tablespoon of butter in large saucepan and add the fresh Moghrabiyeh**, add caraway and black pepper and allspice and a bit of cloves. Stir the Moghrabiyeh with a wooden spoon for 15 minutes on low heat. Use the second part of the chicken broth and chickpeas for the Moghrabiyeh and leave on low heat, the more absorbed the more you add broth till the starchy pellets become tender. 
Serve in a large dish, decorate with onions and chicken and sprinkle caraway on top. Serve broth on the side.Served with yogurt as a side, eat with a spoon.

*Lebanese couscous: Larger than Moroccan couscous, here the starchy pellets are about the size of small peas. 
** Dried moghrabiyeh requires longer cooking and more broth.