Weeknight Meal Recipe: Mediterranean Chicken Stew with Cinnamon Couscous

This recipe is my go-to meal for nights when I want to cook but I don't want it to take all night. Filled with flavor, you'd never think that cooking time is only 20 minutes. And it has another key time-saving secret!

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That's right: rotisserie chicken! Picking up a freshly roasted chicken and pulling the meat off the bones results in chicken that tastes like it's been stewing all day. And you usually can even do this without a knife.

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Using couscous helps keep the cooking time down here as well -- by the time you have that made, your stew is ready to serve. Kalmata olives and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice help keep this from tasting like it only took a few minutes to make!

Mediterranean Chicken Stew with Cinnamon Couscous

serves 4

for chicken stew
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, in puree
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 bay leaves
Pepper, to taste
1 rotisserie chicken, cut into bite sized pieces, skin removed
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

for cinnamon couscous
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (10-ounce) box plain, quick-cooking couscous
1/3 cup raisins
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons orange juice

Heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 5-8 minutes. Add garlic and oregano, cook for one minute while stirring. Pour in crushed tomatoes, chickpeas, chicken broth, bay leaves, and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes. Add chicken, lower heat and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

For couscous, heat chicken broth, oil, and salt until boiling. Add couscous and raisins, stir, remove from heat and cover. Let rest until all liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork, add cinnamon and orange juice. Use fork to mix until combined. Set aside.

Remove stew from heat. Add olives and lemon juice. Serve hot over couscous.

Notes:
• Remove chicken meat from bones while the chicken is still warm and you won't need a knife -- the meat comes off easily using just your fingers.
• Add other dried fruits to the couscous like chopped dried apricot, currents, and finish with sliced toasted almonds.

Related: The Semi-Secret Glories of Rotisserie Chicken

(Images: Stephanie Barlow)

Per serving, based on 4 servings. (% daily value)
Calories
406
Fat
16.5 g (25.3%)
Saturated
2.3 g (11.3%)
Carbs
57 g (19%)
Fiber
6.3 g (25.4%)
Sugars
18.3 g
Protein
15.4 g (30.9%)
Sodium
981.8 mg (40.9%)