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Moghrabieh with chicken

Lebanese Moghrabieh pearl couscous with chicken and whole shallots

Course Main Course
Cuisine Lebanese
Keyword Comfort food, Homemade, Stew,
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Zaatar and Zaytoun


For the chicken broth

  • 1 quartered baby chicken or 2-3 chicken breasts
  • 1 large onion peeled halved
  • 1 carrot peeled
  • 2-3 cardamom pods
  • 5-7 black peppercorns
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 litre of boiling water 4 cups
  • 1 tsp of salt

For the moghrabieh

  • 500 g moghrabieh pearls
  • 500 g of shallot onions peeled whole
  • 1/2 cup regular olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground caraway
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp seven spice
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 can chickpeas drained
  • 2 tsp salt approx
  • 3 tbsp butter


To make the chicken broth

  1. In a non stick pan, sauté the shallot onions in the regular olive oil until slightly golden for a few minutes on medium high heat. Drain and set aside

  2. In the same pan you fried the onions, flash fry the quartered chicken for a few minutes until the outside colours a little

  3. Transfer the chicken to a stock pot and add the large onion, carrots, cardamom, peppercorns, bay leaves, cinnamon stick and 1 tsp of salt

  4. Add around 1 litre (4 cups) of boiling water to the stock. Bring to the boil then simmer for around 45 minutes

  5. Once the broth has finished simmering, take out the chicken pieces and roughly shred. Cover and set aside

  6. Drain the remaining broth through a fine sieve and set aside with a lid on to keep it warm

To make the moghrabieh

  1. In a new deep pan, sauté the moghrabieh pearls in 2 tbsp of butter for a few minutes

  2. Add the ground caraway, cinnamon, 7 spice and black pepper to the moghrabieh pearls and sauté for another few minutes

  3. Add the peeled whole shallot onions and slowly pour on the chicken broth to cover

  4. Bring to the boil, then add approximately 2 tsps of salt along with the drained chickpeas and more broth or boiling water if necessary

  5. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for at least half an hour. If the moghrabieh becomes too dry add more broth or water and taste to adjust the salt levels.

  6. Add 1 more tbsp of butter just before you turn off the heat.
  7. Serve with the shredded chicken on top, and a few of the whole shallot onions.