Couscous Royale

This Morrocan dish consist of couscous, some kind of tagine, and grill meat is a feast of flavors. For this couscous royale, I made a Lamb Tagine with Chickpeas & Apricots, with Moroccan Meatballs, Chicken Skewers, and Grilled Merguez Sausages

The tagine is a classic North African stew that is packed with flavors and super easy to make. If you don’t have a tagine, a dutch oven is also perfect for the job, just let it simmer on low heat while filling your kitchen with amazing aromas. The chicken and meatball can be cooked at the same time, while the stew is being made. I will break the recipe into 3 parts, and you can cook any of the three and still have a delicious meal!

This meal takes about 2 1/2 hours total, but the actual cooking time is about 1 hour, it will sever 4 people

Morrocan Lamb Tagine (step 1-3)

You need: 2 lb lamb shoulder; 1 can chickpeas; 3 cloves garlic, minced; 1 cinnamon stick; 2 tbsp olive oil; 1 onion, chopped; 1 tsp coriander seeds; 1 tsp cumin seeds; 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes; 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon; 1/2 tsp paprika; 1/4 tsp ground ginger; 1/4 tsp ground turmeric; 1 canned diced tomatoes; 2 cups chicken stock; 1/2 cup halved dried apricots

Moroccan Chicken Skewers (step 4)

You need: 2 lb skinless, boneless chicken thighs; 2 cloves garlic, minced; 2 tsp ground cumin; 2 tsp paprika; ¼ tsp crushed red pepper flake

Moroccan Meatballs (step 5)

You need: 1/2 cup Breadcrumbs; 1 cup milk; 1 lb ground beef or lamb; 1 large egg; 1 tsp salt; ¼ tsp black pepper; 4 cloves garlic, minced; 1 tsp ground ginger; 1 tsp turmeric; 2 tsp paprika; 2 tsp ground cumin


How to make this:

  1. Heat up a dutch oven on medium-high, (if you have a tagine or a clay pot, because they tend to crack under high heat, use a pan to brown the meat). Cut the lamb shoulder into 1-inch cubes, toss them in 1 tbsp of olive oil, salt, and black pepper; brown the meat in the pan or pot
  2. Take out the lamb, turn the heat down to medium, in the same pot or pan, cook the chopped onion and minced garlic with some olive oil for about 8 min, then add in the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, crushed red pepper flakes, ground cinnamon, paprika, ground ginger, ground turmeric in the pot or pan and toast them with the onions for about 1 min
  3. Transfer the cooked onion garlic and spices into the tagine or pot if you used a pan, place the meat back in the pot. Roughly chop the dried apricots, add it with the diced tomatoes (with all the juice), chicken stock, and chickpeas (drained) into the pot and bring it to a simmer on medium, then cover it and let it cook on low for about 2 hours
  4. While the tagine is cooking cut the chicken thighs into 2-inch cubes, then marinate it with minced garlic, ground cumin, paprika and crushed red pepper flakes for 30min to an hour, put the marinated meat on a skewer and the place it on a medium-high grill for about 4 min on each side, if you use an oven, roast it at 175C or 350 F degree for about 20 min or until the internal temp reaches 75 C or 175 F degrees
  5. Mix the breadcrumbs, milk, ground beef or lamb, egg, salt, black pepper, minced garlic, ground ginger, turmeric, paprika and ground cumin in a large container, then from them into 2-inch wide balls with your hand, wet you hand with some water to create a very smooth meatball, then place the balls on a baking tray and roast them in an oven at 175C or 350 F degree for about 20 min (you can roast these with the chicken), them, to add more flavors, place them inside the tagine with the stew for about 15 min
  6. Sever it with some couscous (you can steam them or just cook them in some boiling water) and grilled or pan-fried Merguez sausages (if you can’t find those, use Italian hot sausage instead, they taste very similar)

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