Couscous With Caramelized Onion And Raisin Tfaya

Couscous With Caramelized Onion And Raisin Tfaya
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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.
  • 1/2 cup (scant) raisins
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pound medium-sized red onions, sliced lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 2 1/2 pound bone-in chicken thighs, skinned and trimmed of fat
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • generous pinch of saffron, dry-toasted and ground
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 10 sprigs cilantro
  • 10 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 medium-sized carrots, quartered lengthwise
  • 2 medium-sized turnips, peeled and halved lengthwise
  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup light olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds, blanched and skinned
  • 2 2/3 cup couscous, cooked according to the package directions
  • 3 eggs, hard-boiled and quartered lengthwise
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.