Chicken Marrakech with Jeweled Couscous is like making a quick culinary escape to Morrocco!
Whether you spell it Marrakech or Marrakesh….it’s all GOOD!
If Chicken Marrakech with Jeweled Couscous sounds familiar, it’s a recipe of mine that was accepted by The Fresh Market for publication in their 25th anniversary cookbook.
Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients. You may already have most of the ingredients in your spice cabinet or pantry and the steps are not complicated.
Compound butter–taken from the French influence in Moroccan cuisine–is stuffed under the skin of a split chicken breast. A compound butter can be made with almost any herb, spice or flavoring. Start with softened butter, add the ingredients, form into a log using plastic wrap, then wrap and chill until it can be sliced. The recipe here yields more than you’ll need for two servings, however the recipe is easily doubled to four servings. If only making two servings, freeze the remainder and use it another time or melt it over cooked carrots, squash, sweet potatoes or salmon.
The butter does run out from under the skin, however, it melds with a bit of olive oil and the chicken drippings to create a luxurious “sauce” to be drizzled back over the chicken when served.
North African-style couscous is a great item to keep in your pantry for side dishes because it cooks quickly. It’s often mistaken for a grain, but it is actually dried pasta made from semolina, a coarsely ground durum wheat. Israeli or pearl couscous is larger and is baked rather than dried. It takes longer to cook, but can be used if you prefer. For a gluten-free dish, use brown rice or quinoa.
The chicken breast roasting time will vary depending upon size. The chicken is done when an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the breast registers 165 degrees. Be careful not to touch bone as the thermometer will register hotter than what the meat temperature really is.
Serve a green Moroccan-inspired salad with orange segments, red onion, radishes and black olives on the side.