Delicious Middle Eastern Chicken Moghrabieh Recipe

There’s something magical about Middle Eastern flavors that always leave me wanting more. The aromatic spices, fresh herbs, and bold colors are a feast for the senses. That’s why I want to share with you my recipe for Middle Eastern Chicken with Moghrabieh Couscous, a dish fit for a king or queen.

The star of this dish is the tender and juicy chicken drumsticks cooked in a fragrant blend of ground coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds. Paired with fluffy Israeli couscous pearls and sweet Roma tomatoes, the dish is elevated to a whole new level.

As an Israeli chef, I’m always looking for ways to incorporate my heritage into my dishes. Moghrabieh couscous is a traditional Lebanese ingredient that I’ve brought into this recipe to give it an authentic taste. It has a unique texture that’s plump and chewy, almost like a cross between pasta and rice. You’ll love how it soaks up all the flavors of the chicken stew.

With this recipe, you’ll be transported straight to the Middle East. Not only is it delicious but also it’s easy to make and perfect for family dinners, intimate gatherings or even just treating yourself to some comfort food. So buckle up and get ready for a culinary journey through the flavors of the Middle East!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Middle Eastern Chicken With Moghrabieh Couscous
Middle Eastern Chicken With Moghrabieh Couscous

Have you ever tried a dish that transports you to a different part of the world with just one bite? If not, get ready to have your taste buds blown away. This Middle Eastern Chicken with Moghrabieh Couscous Recipe is not only a feast for the senses but also a celebration of the bold and aromatic flavors of Middle Eastern cuisine.

Firstly, let’s talk about the star of the dish – the spiced chicken. The combination of ground coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds come together to create a flavor profile that is warm and inviting. As the chicken cooks in its own broth, it absorbs all of those delicious flavors, resulting in tender and succulent meat that falls off the bone.

Now, let’s move on to the couscous. While many are familiar with traditional Moroccan couscous made with small pellets, this recipe takes it up a notch with Lebanese moghrabieh couscous – giant-sized couscous pearls that provide a unique texture and chewiness. Cooked in chicken broth infused with onions and bay leaves, the couscous soaks up all those fragrant aromas making it utterly irresistible.

But wait, there’s more! The addition of Roma tomatoes and chickpeas to the couscous provides color and vibrancy to the dish. These ingredients add an extra dimension of flavor and protein that will leave you feeling satisfied and full.

Overall, this dish is perfect for any occasion – whether it’s dinner parties or cozy family meals. It’s rich in spices, flavorsome, and incredibly comforting. So why not fall in love with Middle Eastern cuisine with this Middle Eastern Chicken with Moghrabieh Couscous? Your taste buds will never be the same again.

Ingredient List

 The flavors of the Middle East on one plate!
The flavors of the Middle East on one plate!

Here are the ingredients you’ll need for this Middle Eastern Chicken with Moghrabieh Couscous Recipe:

  • 3 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
  • 2 bone-in, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3 bone-in, skinless chicken drumsticks
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon of fennel seed
  • 1 tablespoon of ground cumin
  • 2 medium onions peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups of canned or fresh diced Roma tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • 6 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 pound of Israeli or giant couscous pearls
  • 1 can or 2 cups drained cooked chickpeas (optional)
  • Salt sweet kitchen – moghrabieh salt sweet spices (This spice is optional and can be found in Middle Eastern markets. If unavailable, regular salt can be used.)

The Recipe How-To

 Get ready to taste a perfectly spiced Middle Eastern Chicken!
Get ready to taste a perfectly spiced Middle Eastern Chicken!

Now that we’ve covered the flavor profile and ingredients of this Middle Eastern Chicken with Moghrabieh Couscous recipe, it’s time to get cooking! Don’t be intimidated by the length of the instructions – this recipe is worth every step.


  • 1 pound (about 4) chicken drumsticks
  • 3 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • Salt and pepper to taste (use about 2 teaspoons salt and 1 teaspoon pepper)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups Israeli couscous (or moghrabieh or giant couscous)
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 3 pearl onions, peeled


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the ground coriander, ground cumin, fennel seed, salt, pepper and one tablespoon of olive oil to create a paste.
  2. Rub the paste all over the chicken drumsticks and chicken thighs until they are evenly coated.
  3. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium heat.
  4. Sear the chicken drumsticks and thighs in preheated oil for 6 to 8 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove from the pot and set aside.
  5. Add in diced onions and minced garlic into the same pot and cook until translucent.
  6. Pour in low-sodium chicken broth into the pot along with bay leaves.
  7. Add in Israeli couscous pearls to the pot and bring everything to boil on high heat.
  8. Reduce heat to a simmer, making sure that everything is evenly distributed within the pot.
  9. Cook for about 10 minutes or until Israeli couscous is softened but still al dente.
  10. Mix in cooked chickpeas, diced tomatoes and pearl onions into the pot.
  11. Gently place seared chicken drumsticks and thighs back into the pot.
  12. Cover Dutch oven with its lid and let everything cook on medium-low heat for additional 25 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

That’s it – your delicious Middle Eastern Chicken with Moghrabieh Couscous dish is ready to serve!

Substitutions and Variations

 Every grain of Moghrabieh couscous is full of a unique flavor!
Every grain of Moghrabieh couscous is full of a unique flavor!

Don’t be afraid to experiment with this recipe and put your own spin on it! Here are a few variations and substitutions you can try:

– Couscous: If you can’t find Israeli couscous or moghrabieh (Lebanese giant couscous), you can use regular pearl couscous instead. Quinoa or rice would also work well in this dish.

– Chicken: You can use any type of bone-in chicken pieces for this recipe, such as thighs or breasts. If you prefer boneless chicken, go ahead and use that instead.

– Spices: For even richer Middle Eastern flavors, try adding some additional spices like cinnamon or sumac to the chicken stew.

– Tomatoes: If you don’t have fresh Roma tomatoes on hand, you can use canned diced tomatoes instead.

– Vegetarian Option: Omit the chicken pieces and use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth to make a delicious vegetarian version of this recipe. Add in some sautéed mushrooms or roasted vegetables to make it even heartier.

Whether you’re making substitutions for personal preference or due to ingredient availability, don’t worry – this recipe is very forgiving and adaptable. Have fun mixing and matching ingredients to create your own flavor profile!

Serving and Pairing

 A dish that bursts with exotic flavors and beautiful colors!
A dish that bursts with exotic flavors and beautiful colors!

This Middle Eastern Chicken with Moghrabieh Couscous Recipe is a delightful dish that is perfect for a cozy dinner with your family or when you have guests over. When serving the dish, make sure to garnish it with fresh coriander and serve it hot. The rich flavors of the spiced chicken infused with moghrabieh couscous pearls will definitely leave a lasting impression on your taste buds.

For pairing, this dish pairs beautifully with a light-bodied red wine like Pinot Noir or with a crisp and refreshing white wine like Sauvignon Blanc. Also, you may want to pair it with some naan bread or pita bread along with some hummus to enjoy the flavors of the Middle East even more.

If you’re looking for a soupier version of this recipe, then you can add more chicken broth to the dish during cooking to turn it into a savory soup. You could also add chickpeas to enhance the flavor and texture further.

Overall, this flavorful Middle Eastern Chicken with Moghrabieh Couscous Recipe is easy to make and incredibly versatile, making it perfect for any occasion. Whether you are planning a family dinner or entertaining friends, this Lebanese-inspired moghrabieh couscous recipe is sure to become one of your favorite go-to comfort foods!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Perfectly tender and juicy chicken that is infused with Middle Eastern spices!
Perfectly tender and juicy chicken that is infused with Middle Eastern spices!

One of the great things about this Middle Eastern Chicken with Moghrabieh Couscous recipe is that it can be made ahead of time, stored, and reheated for later consumption without compromising its taste.

If you want to make ahead the chicken stew, prepare the dish as normal and let it cool down completely. Once cooled, store the stew (not prepared couscous) in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

When reheating, add a splash of water or chicken broth to the stew to loosen it up and maintain its moisture. Then reheat it on low heat to prevent scorching until heated through.

To reheat the prepared couscous, all you need to do is fluff it with a fork and transfer it into a microwave-safe dish. Cover the dish with plastic wrap or a lid but leave a small space for steam to escape. Heat it up in the microwave for 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds interval until thoroughly reheated.

If you’re planning to store leftovers together, ensure to keep them separately before storing since the sesame sauce can soften up the couscous over time.

This recipe’s convenient storage option makes it perfect for meal prepping and busy weeknights. Just make sure you store food appropriately in-covered and airtight containers to prevent contaminants from seeping in or out.

Tips for Perfect Results

 Each bite is a rich and aromatic feast for the senses!
Each bite is a rich and aromatic feast for the senses!

To ensure that your Middle Eastern Chicken with Moghrabieh Couscous Recipe is a hit, here are some tips that will guide you to create perfect results.

Firstly, don’t be afraid of using spices. Spices such as ground coriander, cumin, and fennel seed add an aromatic flavor to the chicken and couscous. Toasting the spices before using them can also bring out their oils, resulting in a richer flavor.

When cooking the chicken, it is important to ensure that it is cooked evenly. Choose bone-in chicken drumsticks or thighs for best results; they retain more moisture during cooking and fall off the bone easily. Remove the skin from the chicken to reduce fat content, but this can also affect its juiciness. If you prefer chicken breast meat, remove them early from the cooking process to prevent them from drying out and becoming tough.

Cooking the moghrabieh couscous is also crucial. Unlike Israeli couscous or pearl couscous, Lebanese moghrabieh is larger in size and requires more time to cook through. Boil it separately from the soup or stew, then rinse well with cold water to prevent clumping of pearls. Drizzle theirs with some olive oil before serving for added flavor.

Lastly, consider adding chickpeas to your dish. Chickpeas are a healthy addition that adds protein and fiber while complimenting the flavors of the chicken and spices. Rinse canned chickpeas before use, or soak dry chickpeas overnight prior to cooking for better texture.

These tips will surely create a mouth-watering and authentic taste of Lebanon right in your own kitchen!


Now that you have all the details on how to make this tantalizing Middle Eastern Chicken with Moghrabieh Couscous recipe, it might be natural for you to have some questions. In this section, I have put together some frequently asked questions and useful answers to help you prepare the perfect dish without any hassle.

Is Moghrabieh the same as Israeli couscous?

Moghrabieh, a variation of couscous, hails from Lebanon and features wheat dough that is molded into small, round shapes that bear resemblance to Israeli couscous but are slightly bigger in size.

What are Moghrabieh spices made of?

When it comes to moghrabieh, the key spices to look out for are caraway and cinnamon. These two ingredients are typically used in moderation, as is common in Lebanese cuisine. To further enhance the dish’s taste, Lebanese seven spice and black pepper are also thrown into the mix. However, the primary source of flavor comes from the chicken broth, which contains cardamom, black peppercorns, and bay leaves.

Is couscous eaten in Lebanon?

Moghrabieh, the Lebanese version of couscous, is a dish commonly served in Lebanon during festive occasions as it requires considerable time to cook. The recipe for this dish involves simmering the couscous with traditional spices to create a flavorful and aromatic final product.

How big is Lebanese couscous?

Lebanese Couscous, also called Moghrabieh or Pearl Couscous, is a unique type of Couscous that stands out due to its size, which can range from 1/8″ to 1/4″ in diameter. This Couscous variety boasts a distinct texture that can be described as chewy and has the ability to absorb sauces efficiently. It makes a great ingredient for soups and stews due to its consistency.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Middle Eastern Chicken with Moghrabieh Couscous recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves flavorful and hearty dishes. With its combination of spices, fresh vegetables and tender chicken, it will truly transport your taste buds to the streets of Lebanon.

Whether you are looking to impress your guests at a dinner party or simply want to experiment with new flavors in your own kitchen, this recipe is a winner. And with the ability to customize it to your liking by swapping out ingredients or adjusting spice levels, you can make it truly yours.

So go ahead and give this Middle Eastern Chicken with Moghrabieh Couscous recipe a try today. Your taste buds (and stomach) will thank you!

Middle Eastern Chicken With Moghrabieh Couscous

Middle Eastern Chicken With Moghrabieh Couscous Recipe

I bought some giant cous cous - Moghrabieh - and wasn't sure what to do with it. Moghrabieh is also known as Lebanese, Israeli and Giant Couscous. After looking for some recipes, I decided to throw caution to the wind and create my own dish based on what I'd read and what I like. The result was delicous, so thought I'd better write it down before I forget it. The Moghrabieh is like small round balls of pasta, rather than a grain, and so I cooked it like pasta.
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Middle Eastern
Servings 2 serves
Calories 846.9 kcal


  • 4 -6 chicken drumsticks, skin removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 liter chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup israeli couscous (Moghrabieh)
  • 2 liters water


  • Using spray oil or the olive oil, coat a heavy based casserole dish or pot and place on cook top.
  • When the oil is hot, add the chick drumsticks and cook for about 5 mins so that the chicken is turning a golden brown.
  • Add the onion, and continue cooking unitl the onion is translucent - about 5 minutes If either onion or chicken starts to burn, reduce the heat.
  • Add the fennel seeds, cumin and corriander and cook another minute.
  • Add the chicken stock and increase the heta if needed, so that the stock reaches boiling point, then turn down and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
  • While the chicken is cooking, add the Moghrabieh to a pot of boiling water and cook for about 15 minutes or until the Moghrabieh is cooked but not mushy. Drain and set aside.
  • After 30 minutes, add the tomato to the chicken and cook a further 15 minutes. If needed increase the cooking time if the chicken is not yet 'falling off the bone'.
  • Remove the chicken from the pot and remove chicken from the bone.
  • If the mixture is too watery at this stage, turn up the heat so that the remaining liquid reduces and thickens.
  • Return the chicken to the sauce once the right consistency has been achieved.
  • To serve, add the Moghrabieh to bowls and top with the chicken mixture.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 1868gCalories: 846.9kcalCarbohydrates: 94.3gProtein: 53.5gFat: 26.8gSaturated Fat: 6.2gCholesterol: 133.5mgSodium: 882.7mgFiber: 6.7gSugar: 12g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Healthy, Low Cholesterol, Low Protein, One-Dish Meal
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