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Turmeric and Cumin Chicken with Chilies, Cinnamon Oranges and Olive-Chickpea Couscous


  • 1 whole chicken, cut up (remove the skin from the legs and breasts, and reserve the wings)

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 lime

  • 2 oranges, divided

  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped, divided

  • Sea salt

  • 3 tablespoons EVOO

  • 1 rounded tablespoon turmeric

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds (half a palmful)

  • 4 small fresh bay leaves

  • 2 3-inch cinnamon sticks

  • 2 serrano peppers or jalapeño peppers, halved lengthwise

  • 1 cup cracked green olives or olive mix

  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • 1 can chickpeas (14 ounces), drained and rinsed

  • A handful of fresh cilantro or parsley leaves, finely chopped

  • 1 1/2 cups couscous


Put the chicken wings in a small pot. Cover with water and sprinkle with salt. Simmer gently for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the remaining chicken pieces with the juice of the lime, the juice of one orange and half the garlic. Sprinkle liberally with sea salt and toss to coat. Cover and marinate at room temperature for at least 45 minutes and up to 1 hour. Heat the EVOO in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the turmeric and cumin seeds and stir for a minute to toast the spices. Add the bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and chili peppers and cook for a minute or two more. Add the chicken and turn to coat it with the spiced oil, then cook until the chicken is lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Slice the remaining orange and add it to the pan along with the olives. Cook until heated through. Remove the chicken wings from the poaching liquid and add 1 cup of the liquid to the pan. Partially cover and simmer for 20 more minutes. Remove the cinnamon sticks. (If you aren't serving the chicken immediately, cool and then store it in the refrigerator. Store any leftover poaching liquid separately. Reheat the chicken over medium heat and prepare the couscous before serving.) Combine 1 1/2 cups reserved poaching liquid and the butter, chickpeas and cilantro in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then stir in the couscous. Turn off the heat, cover the pan and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork. Serve the couscous with the chicken.