Whole Chicken Stuffed with Couscous, in Turmeric Mushroom Sauce with Cauliflower Side Dish

I have to start by saying that these recipes are not for a casual night and take a little time to prepare and cook.  This is a great meal for a special occasion or a holiday, and you are sure to impress your loved ones and your guests with this combination of foods.  From the responses I received, it is worth the effort!

Cooking a whole chicken can be very flavorful and different from cut-up chicken pieces.  It can also be a lot cheaper.

To make this chicken you will need a dish you can use in the oven, like a rectangular glass baking dish.

Here’s what you need:

One whole chicken

One sweet onion – chopped

A small carton of whole white fresh mushrooms, washed (you can use any other type that you like)

Olive Oil

Cooking spray (olive or canola)

Salt

Pepper

Chicken Bullion powder

Turmeric

Parsley Flakes

A box of couscous

Chicken or Vegetable broth (I prefer organic)

Don’t forget:

Heat the oven on 350 degrees for about 10 minutes.

 Here is what you do:

Spray the baking dish with cooking oil.  Clean the chicken and place it inside the dish.

In a small skillet, sauté the onion in a little olive oil until golden, and spread over the chicken.

Make the couscous according to the instructions on the box, then stuff the chicken with the couscous (you can use what’s left around the chicken, just like in the photo).  Spread the mushroom around the sides.

In a small bowl, mix about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, salt, pepper, some chicken bullion, turmeric, parsley flakes and one cup of broth (chicken or vegetables).  Stir well until all the spices are well mixed, and then pour evenly over the stuffed chicken.

Cover with foil paper and bake in the heated oven for two hours.

Here is what you will have:

Whole chicken stuffed with couscous

You will need a vegetable side dish for this meal, and if you like cauliflower, you will love this recipe.

Here’s what you need:

A cauliflower head (or two, depending on how many people you are feeding)

One sweet onion – chopped

Olive oil

Salt

Pepper

Chicken Bullion

Paprika

Vegetable broth

You will cook this one on the stove so you will need a pot that is deep enough and a little wide.

Here’s what you do:

Cut up the cauliflower to florets and wash them well.  In a little bowl, mix vegetable broth (enough to cover a third of the pot) and all the spices.

Sauté onion in a little olive oil.  Once the onion is golden, add the florets and pour your wonderful spice mix over the cauliflower.  Cover and bring to boil.  Lower the flame and cook about 20 minutes or until desired consistency is achieved.

Here is what you will have:

Cauliflower

This is what the complete meal looks like once it’s served:

Plate with chicken and cauliflower

This meal is delicious and perfect for a relaxing special evening at home.  It is also healthy since it’s made from fresh organic ingredients and it is low on carbs.  Cooked cauliflower has excellent nutritional value as it is low in Saturated Fat, and very low in Cholesterol.  It is a good source of protein, Vitamin C, and Fiber.

Enjoy!!!

Traditional Moroccan Couscous Dinner

Dinner is one of those things that gives you an opportunity to turn an ordinary night into an extraordinary evening. You don’t have to wait for Friday night to do that. Why not have a relaxing evening in the beginning of the week?

In my desire to take another break from cookbooks, and still stay healthy, I gave in to my Mediterranean roots. After a trip to one of my local organic produce shops, where I was inspired to prepare a hearty dinner, I knew what to do.

At this point, you ask: so, what is it that you made?

The answer? Couscous with Moroccan style vegetable and garbanzo bean soup, served with baked turmeric chicken. Sounds like a lot of work, right?  Not really!

Moroccan food is slow to cook, and for that I enlisted the help of my beloved slow cooker, which I used to make this delicious soup.

Here is what you need:

1/2 Butternut squash, cut to 2″ cubes

4 Carrots, cut to three pieces each

4 White zucchini squash, sliced in the middle and cut up to 1″ pieces

One big onion, peeled and cut to 8 pieces

1 can of garbanzo beans

Extra virgin olive oil

Chicken bullion

Salt

Pepper

Turmeric

Chicken broth

Here is what you do:

Drizzled one tablespoon olive oil on the bottom of the slow cooker. I like to use a plastic slow cooker liner, which makes it easy to clean later, but it’s up to you.

Place butternut squash, carrots, white zucchini squash, and onions (in this order) and top with garbanzo beans.

To season, drizzle just a touch of olive oil and sprinkle chicken bullion, salt, pepper, and turmeric according to your taste. Fill up slow cooker about 3/4 with chicken broth and… Cook for 6 hours on high.

_MG_3849

This soup is served over couscous.  Making couscous from scratch is a laborious and time consuming process. The next best thing, which I find to be an acceptable culinary substitute, is the out-of-the-box version.  Just pick up your favorite kind (plain works best with this soup) and follow the cooking instructions. You can make this part right before you serve the meal, since it takes no longer than 10 minutes.

_MG_3853

The traditional way is to serve these two dishes together, with couscous first and the soup poured over it.

_MG_3860

Some people add chicken to the pot and cook it as part of the soup. I occasionally do that to make things easier, but wanted to have an abundance of vegetables, so I cooked the chicken separately.

Just spray an oven friendly dish with a non-stick spray (I like olive oil spray) and place the chicken on the dish. Season with a little olive oil, salt, pepper, chicken bullion, turmeric and parsley flakes, and a 1/4 cup water, cover with foil paper, and bake on 350 degrees for two hours. This is a delicious addition to the couscous and soup combo and makes for a satisfying dinner.

_MG_3857

Dinner was fabulous and colorful. It looked like I slaved in the kitchen all afternoon, when in reality it was super easy to make. My family was excited to have one of their favorite meals served in the beginning of the week, to cure the occasional case of the Monday Blues.