Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Moroccan Chicken Tacos and Spiced-Zucchini Couscous

I love ethnic food, and I try to switch things up a few times a week so we don't get bored. Tonight's offering was North African, because it seemed a good use of our plethora of produce.

We started with Moroccan chicken kabobs and grilled veggies. I prefer mine with flatbread but couldn't find a store-bought version I liked (that whole picky bread thing), so we heated up some tortillas and turned the chicken into a sort of taco with the veggies, tomato, and cucumber. The marinade I used for the chicken and veggies is adapted from a Fine Cooking recipe for Lemony Moroccan-Style Chicken Kebabs, with a some changes to suit our tastes and my timeline. (Speaking of kabobs (kebabs?), I'm terrible at grilling them. I now just put meat on the skewers and grill them, and throw my veggies in a grill wok.)

On the side we had Spiced-Zucchini Couscous that includes some of the same spices as those used with the chicken. I have an old recipe for spiced zucchini, and I always end up mixing it with the couscous on my plate, anyway. I thought I'd save a step.

Moroccan Chicken Tacos
Serves 2-3

Zest and juice of 1 lemon
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp. dried marjoram
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric
Pinch of ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil
6 oz. non-fat Greek-style plain yogurt

2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut in large cubes
Wooden skewers, soaked in water for 30 min.
2 bell peppers, any color, cut in large chunks
1 onion, any color, cut in large chunks
Pita bread, flatbread, or tortillas, for serving
Chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, for serving

1. Combine the marinade ingredients in a small bowl. Put chicken in a zip-top bag or a glass dish and add marinade. Store in the refrigerator and marinate 8 hours or overnight.

2. About 20 minutes before grilling, remove chicken from refrigerator. Add peppers and onion to the marinade.

3. Thread chicken on skewers. Thread vegetables on separate skewers, or place in a grill wok. Grill chicken and veggies over medium-low heat until done.

4. Serve chicken and veggies with bread or tortillas, and top with tomatoes and cucumbers.

Spiced-Zucchini Couscous
Serves 4

1 c. chicken broth
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. couscous
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/3 c. onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium zucchini, cut in 1/2" cubes
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Bring broth and 1/2 tsp. salt to a boil. Pour over coucous in a bowl, and cover bowl with plastic wrap. Set aside.

2. In a small pan, heat oil. Saute onion over medium-high heat until golden, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, zucchini, and spices, and continue cooking over medium heat until zucchini is slightly softened, about 8 minutes. (If the mixture gets too dry, add a little water or broth to the pan.)

3. Fluff couscous with a fork, add zucchini mixture, and stir.

1 comment:

Seth said...

I solved the problem of meat/veggie skewers by investing in a kick-ass grill. Charcoal (cuz I'm a grilling snob), but with two separate chambers. Can get two separate heats going. Really helps for timing things... especially like fish and veggies. But this looks like a great recipe. Perhaps I'll try it next week.