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Mediterranean Chicken, Butternut Squash and Couscous

Mediterranean Chicken with Couscous (2).jpeg

Stews around the world are slow simmering, filled with meat and vegetables. What makes stews smell so good are partially the spices we add—and that depends on what part of the world the stew is from. Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine frequently use cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, paprika and dried fruit, such as apricots and raisins with chicken. The aroma is enticing as is the fall apart chicken, savory butternut squash and deliciously sweet fruit. The couscous just soaks up the sauce, as does the Focaccia leftt over from last week's post! Vegan, gluten-free and allium free options given in suggestions below the recipe. This serves 2-3 people and is easily multiplied for a larger group. Recipe is below.

Foodie Lit

Laurie Easter has an unusual life. She dwells in a remote area, off the grid. Her bathtub is outside, she birthed on the dirt floor of her cabin and she lives much of her life as part of nature. Laurie is a caregiver, nursing friends and family through illness, staying with others as they approach death and facing difficulties of all sorts. She is brave, not turning away from struggles, yet continues to search for the joy that simultaneously exists with sorrow. All the Leavings is a beautiful memoir about how we, and those we love, arrive and leave.

Mediterranean Chicken, Butternut Squash and Couscous

Serves 2-3

(This recipe is made for a small number of people, as per my own situation. You can easily multiply the ingredients for a larger group.)


Chicken Stew

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 bone-in-chicken thighs

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground pepper

1 large onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon paprika

2 cups butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cubed

2 carrots, scrubbed and cut into 2” slices

1 zucchini, cut into 3” chunks

1/2 cup white wine

3 cups chicken broth

1/4 cup sliced dried apricots

1/2 cup golden raisins



1/2 cup dried couscous

1 cup boiling water

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 teaspoon corn starch



  1. Heat a heavy pot over medium heat. Add olive s soft. Add oil. Season chicken lightly with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pot and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side until chicken is fragrant and golden. Remove chicken from pot and place on a plate.

  2. Add onion to pot and sauté in any chicken fat left until onion is soft. Add garlic and stir for 1 minute more.

  3. Add salt, pepper, cinnamon, turmeric, cumin and paprika. Stir to combine with onions.

  4. Add butternut squash, carrots and zucchini to opt. Stir to combine. Add white wine. Stir and simmer for 2-3 minutes.

  5. Add chicken broth. Add apricots and raisins.

  6. Bring stew to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Put lid on, slightly ajar, and simmer for about 45 minutes, until all vegetables are soft. Adjust seasoning to taste.


  1. Make couscous according to package directions. Set aside until stew is ready.

  2. Serve stew on top of couscous.


Tip: 1. If you have extra butternut squash, sauté onion, celery and garlic then add cubed butternut squash. Add other veggies as you desire. Add 4 cups broth and bring to boil. Lower to simmer and cook until vegetables are tender. Let cool and then purée with

 immerser or in blender.

2. You can also cube, drizzle with oil, salt and pepper and roast at 375 F and add to a salad.

3. Slice butternut squash, Drizzle with oil and cinnamon. Roast at 350 F for 40 minutes until fork tender.


Expandthetable suggestions

Gluten free: Use potato starch in place of corn starch. Substitute quinoa in place of couscous.

Vegan: Omit chicken. Add 6 ounces mushrooms, wiped and sliced with other vegetable. Add 1 can drained and rinsed chick peas when stew is simmering.

Add olives: Add 1/2 cup mixed olives to stew while simmering.

Allium free: Omit onion and garlic. Add 1 bulb fennel, sliced, and sauté in place of onion.


Adapted from The Nosher

Butternut Squash Cubed.jpeg
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