Couscous with Caramelized Onion and Raisin Tfaya

Couscous with Caramelized Onion and Raisin Tfaya
Staff Writer
Couscous with Caramelized Onion and Raisin Tfaya
Jeff Koehler
Couscous with Caramelized Onion and Raisin Tfaya

This classic couscous exemplifies the sophisticated and harmonious blending of the sweet with the savory. The broth and tender chicken — laden with a mixture of fragrant spices — are delectable, but the real star is the caramelized onion and raisin tfaya that tops the couscous grains like a regal, honeyed crown. The dish is delicious with cold glasses of lben (buttermilk).

See all chicken recipes.

Click here to see A Regional Approach to Moroccan Cooking.

6
Servings
1154
Calories Per Serving
Deliver Ingredients

Ingredients

For the tfaya

  • 1/2  Cup  (scant) raisins
  • 3  Tablespoons  olive oil
  • 2  Pounds  medium-sized red onions, sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2  Cup  honey
  • 1/2  Teaspoon  ground ginger
  • small cinnamon stick

For the couscous

  • 2 1/2  Pounds  bone-in chicken thighs, skinned and trimmed of fat
  • 1/2  Teaspoon  ground ginger
  • Generous pinch of saffron, dry-toasted and ground
  • cloves
  • small cinnamon stick
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • 1  Tablespoon  olive oil
  • 10  sprigs cilantro
  • 10  sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • medium-sized carrots, quartered lengthwise
  • medium-sized turnips, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 1/2  Cup  canned chickpeas
  • 1  Tablespoon  unsalted butter
  • 4  Cups  water
  • 3/4  Cups  light olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2  Cup  raw almonds, blanched and skinned
  • 2 2/3  Cups  couscous, cooked according to the package directions
  • eggs, hard-boiled and quartered lengthwise

Directions

For the tfaya

In a small mixing bowl, soak the raisins in warm water for 10 minutes to soften and drain. In a large, heavy skillet or sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently to separate the sections and keep them from scorching, until they soften, about 15 minutes. Stir in the honey and add the raisins, ginger, and the cinnamon stick. Cook uncovered over low heat, letting the onions gently bubble and stirring occasionally, until the onions are tender and caramelized, 55-70 minutes. Remove from the heat.

For the couscous

Meanwhile, put the chicken, ginger, saffron, cloves, and cinnamon stick in the bottom of a couscoussier or large pot. Season with salt and white pepper, to taste. Add the olive oil and swirl to coat. Fold the cilantro and parsley in half, tie into a tight bundle with cotton kitchen string, and add along with the carrots, turnips, chickpeas, and butter. Cover with the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, loosely cover, and cook until the chicken is tender but not falling off the bone, about 45 minutes.

In a small saucepan, heat the light olive oil or vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add the almonds and fry, stirring to cook them evenly, until golden, 1-2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a platter. Cover and keep warm. Strain the broth into a bowl, picking out and reserving the chickpeas but discarding the vegetables, herbs, cinnamon stick, and cloves. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

On a large serving platter or dish, gently mound the couscous and make a well in the center. Drizzle a ladleful of the broth evenly over top. Place the chicken in the well, cover with the tfaya, and top with the almonds. Arrange the hard-boiled eggs and some reserved chickpeas around the base of the couscous. Serve with the remaining broth in a bowl on the side.

Nutritional Facts

Total Fat
67g
96%
Sugar
20g
22%
Saturated Fat
24g
100%
Cholesterol
165mg
55%
Carbohydrate, by difference
68g
52%
Protein
67g
100%
Vitamin A, RAE
190µg
27%
Vitamin B-12
5µg
100%
Vitamin B-6
2mg
100%
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid
26mg
35%
Vitamin K (phylloquinone)
8µg
9%
Calcium, Ca
233mg
23%
Choline, total
171mg
40%
Copper, Cu
1mg
0%
Fiber, total dietary
6g
24%
Fluoride, F
2µg
0%
Folate, total
156µg
39%
Iron, Fe
16mg
89%
Magnesium, Mg
115mg
36%
Manganese, Mn
1mg
56%
Niacin
18mg
100%
Pantothenic acid
3mg
60%
Phosphorus, P
687mg
98%
Riboflavin
2mg
100%
Selenium, Se
91µg
100%
Sodium, Na
558mg
37%
Thiamin
2mg
100%
Water
317g
12%
Zinc, Zn
15mg
100%

Couscous Shopping Tip

Look for whole wheat couscous for a healthier alternative.

Couscous Cooking Tip

For added flavor, heat cous cous in chicken stock or saute some carrot and onion in butter before adding water.