FFWD – Chicken Couscous


I have an electric wok, which was one of the first presents I got when I moved out of my parents’ home. I have it still and it’s always been a welcome addition to any household I’ve been a part of, save for one.

As I was moving into one of the countless shared apartment situations that make up young adulthood, my roommate seized upon the wok as the funniest object I owned. Apparently, her ex had been given one, and after getting rid of it as quickly as possible, made it into a running joke about dΓ©classΓ© appliances.

Well, maybe there’s no place for an electric wok in the vast suburban kitchens we grew up with, but in the tiny urban apartments of our present, I loved it. I’ve never used it for stir-frying, though it would work perfectly well. For me, it was just the thing for a party.

I loved throwing buffet-style potluck dinners and my stovetop and oven would be full of dishes simmering, stewing, baking, and steaming. The wok would be over on the dining room table, filled with Anne Lindsay’s Moroccan Chicken Stew or a fish stew from the same cookbook, happily simmering unattended.

I used to make the same stew in vast quantities when I was one of the only ones in my university crowd who knew how to cook. It would keep us all going for a week, and when the chicken ran out, I’d sautΓ© cubes of tofu in the same spices and add them to the pot. At the end of the week, if there was any broth left over, I’d use it as the base of a clean-out-the-fridge soup.

This week’s recipe put me in mind of that stew, just as Dorie’s Lamb and Dried Apricot Tagine did a few months ago. Her take on these flavours includes harissa, which wasn’t on my radar way back then, but brings a welcome heat. I also enjoyed the turnips in this dish, instead of the sweet potatoes that I’d usually reach for with these spices.

I often add dried apricots or currants to a dish like this, but am out of both, so instead stirred in a small spoonful of apricot jam just before serving. It balanced the flavours almost as well as the fruit would have done. It also added another lovely note to the stew’s aroma, which included hints of saffron, ginger, and cinnamon, too.

Since it was just me eating this dish, I halved the recipe and made couscous to go with it. I’ll still be eating my way through the leftovers for a day or two, which is okay, since the flavour keeps improving with time. I won’t be stretching it out with tofu, though. I think I’ll save that for a vegan version I can eat with Kevin, and serve it with quinoa.

Though I didn’t need it this week, I’m hanging onto my electric wok, in anticipation of gatherings to come. And for the record, I’m also awfully fond of my stand alone steamer.

You can find links to the rest of the French Fridays crew’s posts on this week’s recipe here: Chicken Couscous.


26 thoughts on “FFWD – Chicken Couscous

  1. Sounds like that you love the electric wok first and then the stand-alone steamer! I must dig out my non-electric wok and make something asian in it soon! or use it to steam something! Your FFwD dish looks great!

  2. My electric wok is one of my favourite appliances. When mine died after 10 years just before Christmas, I replaced it. Your chicken couscous looks fab, and I like the idea of the apricot jam.

  3. Love the story of the wok, whatever works for anyone is always a good thing. When we were first married we had the electric frying pan. That came in handy and always looked nice on the table for serving. This
    was a great recipe that both Jim and I enjoyed and was so easy to prepare. Have a great week.

    1. Yes, an electric frying pan would be useful in the same way. I agree that what’s good is what works and that’s different for everyone. You have a great week, too! I’m glad this was a hit for you.

  4. I enjoyed your wok story. You must have been popular with cooking skills. We had a great time with the Lesters this weekend. I wish all the Doristas could come. I am sure we will all blog about it this week.

    1. I often had a full house in those days! So glad that you had a Dorista meet up on the weekend. It would be wonderful if we could all get together, wouldn’t it?

  5. I love the idea of using a jam instead of dried fruit to get that same flavor! I might be doing that since the dried fruit for the tagine was a little much for us, I think we’d use a lot less for the next time we make that tagine but it was still very lovely! And of course, my Emily LOVED the savory fruit pieces πŸ™‚

  6. It was a great alternative to running out to the store and the flavour was really nice. I love how broad your girls’ palates are – tiny gourmets!

  7. Dear Teresa, what a fun post to read through – love these kinds of posts…Your Chicken Couscous looks wonderful in that white cocotte and the couscous on the side – left-overs were good, I agree and it was nice to munch on this dish the next day!
    Hope all is well and you are having a good week,

  8. Loved the wok story, Teresa! I can just envision it and the aromas–how happy your college friends must’ve been to know you! πŸ™‚ Sounds like you enjoyed the stew!

  9. this is one kitchen appliance that I do not own….hmmm, you have given me something to think about if I can just figure out where to put another gadget lol

  10. This was a really fun post to read. One of my favorite activities is looking at other people’s kitchens. I find it so interesting to see the cookbooks, appliances, and tools/gadgets that they hold on to. The waffle iron, rice cooker, and slow cooker are my standbys.

  11. Fun post! In my twenties, I shared an apartment with my best friend. We are both cooks, but we each cooked our own meals. Some nights we would have every burner and every pot and pan going! Fun memories!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.