Every Halloween, I like to present a recipe or two that uses pumpkin as my special holiday treat. To read a wrap up of previous pumpkin links including how to select and prepare pumpkins for cooking as well as recipes for pumpkin tarlets and pumpkin chili, click here. Since that wrap up appeared, I posted a recipe for a sweet-and-sour squash and cabbage soup that could easily be made with pumpkin and would be perfect for the season. I hope you'll try some of these oldies and goodies as well as try this new pumpkin treat. (Another treat is how economical this meal is, I estimate it at about $2 a serving.)
Moroccan Chicken, Chickpeas and Pumpkin over Couscous
Makes 4 – 6 Servings
You can replace the one pound of raw pumpkin cubes with acorn or butternut squash, sweet potatoes, turnips or some combination of the above.
To cut the onions and carrots into half moons, slice in half horizontally and then slice into thin half rounds.
If you'd like a spicer stew, use more red pepper flakes. To learn more about the Moroccan seasoning known as raz el hanout, click here.
2 tablespoons olive, grape seed or other vegetable oil
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts cut into strips about 2” long and ½ inch wide
1 cup thinly sliced onion into half moons (see note)
3 cloves garlic, minced
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
2 carrots, thinly sliced into half moons
1 red bell pepper, cut into large dice
1 lb of uncooked, peeled pumpkin, cut into ¾’ or so cubes OR any of the other choices mentioned in the note above
½ tsp raz el hanout OR a mixture of ¼ tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp dried ground ginger and 1/8 tsp ground turmeric
4 cups (about 2 cans, drained and rinsed) cooked chickpeas (garbanzos)
2 cups chicken OR vegetable broth OR water
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
4 cups of cooked couscous
Heat the oil over medium high heat in a large, deep sauté pan or other pot. Brown the chicken strips (working in batches if need be). Remove to a plate and set aside.
Saute the onions until lightly brown and beginning to soften. Add in garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté until garlic begins to brown. Add in carrots and red bell pepper pieces, stir and let cook until the carrots have begun to soften a bit. Add the pumpkin and raz el hanout or spice mixture. Saute a few minutes, then add the cooked chickpeas and broth. Stir well. Lower heat to medium low, cover and cook (stirring occasionally) until pumpkin cubes are almost softened. Add in reserved, browned chicken strips and any accumulated juices. Stir well. Cook uncovered over medium heat, stirring frequently until liquid has reduced down to a thick sauce and chicken is cooked through. Garnish with chopped parsley if desired. Serve atop couscous.
Part of Sweetnick's $7 Dinner Challenge Roundup