Palestinian Couscous with Chicken and Chickpeas (Maftoul)

Palestinian Couscous with Chicken and Chickpeas (Maftoul)
Palestinian Couscous with Chicken and Chickpeas (Maftoul)
This hearty couscous dish is layered with chickpeas and bathed in a broth fragrant with garlic and lemon, and served with crisp-skinned chicken.Ariana Lindquist

This hearty couscous dish is layered with chickpeas and bathed in a broth fragrant with garlic and lemon, and served with crisp-skinned chicken. It first appeared in our December 2013 issue along with Nancy Harmon Jenkins' article Heart of Palestine.

Palestinian Couscous with Chicken and Chickpeas (Maftoul)
This hearty couscous dish is layered with chickpeas and bathed in a broth fragrant with garlic and lemon, and served with crisp-skinned chicken.
Yield: serves 4

Ingredients

  • 8 whole allspice, plus 1/8 tsp. ground
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 (3 1/2-4-lb.) chicken, quartered
  • 2 medium yellow onions, 1 halved, 1 minced
  • 1 stick cinnamon, plus 1/8 tsp. ground
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 34 cup olive oil
  • 2 12 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 12 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 cup maftoul (Palestinian large-grain couscous)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 12 lemons, thinly sliced
  • Greek yogurt, for serving
  • Roughly chopped parsley, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Bring chicken, whole allspice, half each the garlic and lemon, the halved onion, cinnamon stick, salt, and 8 cups water to a boil in a 6-qt. saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered slightly, until chicken is cooked, 15–20 minutes. Using tongs, transfer chicken to a bowl. Add 14 cup oil, half the cumin, and the cardamom to the chicken and toss to coat; set aside. Increase heat to medium; simmer until stock is reduced to 4 cups, 20–25 minutes. Strain, discarding solids, into a bowl.
  2. Heat 14 cup oil in a 4-qt. saucepan over medium-high heat. Add remaining garlic and lemons and the minced onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, 6–8 minutes. Add ground allspice and cinnamon, the remaining cumin, the maftoul, salt, and pepper; cook, stirring, until couscous is lightly toasted, about 4 minutes. Add 1 12 cups reserved stock; boil. Reduce heat to low; cook, covered, until couscous is tender and all the liquid is absorbed, 16–18 minutes. Uncover, fluff with a fork, and transfer to a serving platter; keep warm.
  3. Heat remaining oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, skin side down; cook, flipping once, until browned, 5–7 minutes. Transfer to platter with couscous. Add chickpeas to skillet with remaining stock; boil. Cook until liquid is reduced to about 12 cup, 8–10 minutes. Spoon chickpeas over chicken; garnish with parsley and serve with yogurt.