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Couscous royale recipe

Couscous royale recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Poultry
  • Chicken
  • Cuts of chicken
  • Chicken thigh

Impress your friends with this classic Moroccan dish which can be spiced up or toned down according to preference. All the prep time is in the chopping, the rest is easy!

39 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 900g chicken thighs
  • 340g Merguez or other spicy sausage
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 onions, minced
  • 2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1cm rounds
  • 1/2 stick celery, cut into 1cm pieces
  • 1 swede, parsnip or turnip - peeled and cut into 1cm cubes
  • 1/2 green pepper, cut into 6mm strips
  • 1/2 red pepper, cut into 6mm strips
  • 1 (400g) tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 (400g) tin chickpeas
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon harissa, or to taste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 courgettes, halved lengthways and sliced into 2.5cm pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 350g couscous
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 125g natural yoghurt

MethodPrep:45min ›Cook:45min ›Ready in:1hr30min

  1. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken thighs, skin-side down, and sear until golden brown on both sides; set aside. Reduce heat to medium, add sausage, and cook sausage until no longer pink; set aside.
  2. Stir garlic and onions into pan; cook until onions have softened and turned translucent. Stir in the carrots, celery, swede, green pepper, red pepper, tomatoes, chickpeas and 500ml chicken stock. Season with thyme, turmeric, cayenne, harissa and bay leaf. Cut sausage into 3cm pieces, and add to pan along with chicken. Cover, and simmer for 30 minutes until chicken is no longer pink. When the chicken is done, stir in the courgette, and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, mix 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil into couscous in a heatproof bowl. Bring 500ml of chicken stock to the boil and stir into the couscous, cover and keep hot.
  4. Serve chicken stew over the couscous with a dollop of yoghurt.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(38)

Reviews in English (28)

by Chicken

This is very good and quite impressive. I tend to make it with either just chicken or just sausage depending on what I have in the freezer. The yogurt on top makes it slightly less spicy and gives a wonderful last touch to the recipe. I will continue to make this.-26 Aug 2008

by Jackie M.

This dish was so good! I forgot to add the yogurt at the end and couldn't find any harissa but otherwise made it the same. Our friends that we had over were impressed and my husband loved it. It was a bit spicy for me but I think that using mild italian sausage would help out with that area. My only complaint (if you can even call it that) is that this says 6 servings but we had 4 adults eating it and still had half of it left over afterwards! But the leftovers taste just as good. Thanks for an excellent recipe!-21 Feb 2008

by delish

This dish was so tasty. My boyfriend and I loved it. I did not have chicken thighs (which, I'm sure, would have been lovely) so I quartered a couple chicken breasts. I did not have harissa, nor do I know what it is, so I omitted it. Regardless, this dish tasted super good. Just spicy enough and the sizing of the veg was perfect. Also, the veg remained somewhat firm - just the way we like it. I will be making this again.-15 Jan 2008

Couscous Royale

Drizzle 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil over the lamb and chicken and season generously with salt and pepper.

Heat pressure cooker or large pot over a medium–high heat and cook the lamb and chicken, in batches, until golden all over.

Heat the remaining extra virgin olive oil in the pressure cooker or pot over a medium heat and add the onion and sauté́ for 2–3 minutes to soften. Stir in the ras el hanout and saffron and cook for 30 seconds before adding the harissa and cook for a further 2 minutes. Add the lamb and chicken, stir to coat in the spiced onion mix, then add the carrot, turnip and chickpeas. Pour in the stock and enough water to cover and season with salt. Bring to the boil, then turn down the heat to low, partially cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 45 minutes. If using the pressure cooker, cook under pressure for 35 minutes.

Now add the zucchini and cabbage and cook for a further 40 minutes or until the lamb is almost falling apart and the chickpeas are tender. If using the pressure cooker, add zucchini and cabbage and cook for a further 10 minutes under pressure.

Place the couscous in a large heatproof bowl and add a pinch of salt and butter. Bring 2 cups of water to the boil in a kettle, pour over the couscous and immediately cover with plastic wrap. Set aside to steam for 5–10 minutes, then, using a fork, gently scratch the surface to separate and fluff the grains.

Mound the couscous onto a large platter. Using a slotted spoon, drain the vegetables and place on top of the couscous, then add the meat. Spoon a few ladlefuls of the aromatic broth over the meat, vegetables and couscous and serve in the middle of the table.

If you can’t find ras el hanout, make your own with equal parts ground ginger, cumin, and coriander, cinnamon, paprika and ground turmeric.

To start, bring the cooking liquid (preferably a flavorful chicken or vegetable broth) to a boil in a medium pot. Add a drizzle of olive oil, a pad of butter, and a little salt.

Next, add the couscous. (I use 1-3/4 cups liquid to 1-1/2 cups couscous.)

Take the pan off the heat, cover, and let the couscous steam for 5 minutes.

When you lift the lid, the grains will appear flat in an even layer. Use a fork to fluff it up and break up the clumps for light and fluffy couscous. For a traditional Moroccan feast, try pairing this couscous with my Moroccan chicken tagine.

Thanks to their excellent health benefits, grains have surged in popularity lately. There are infinite ways to prepare them, and in this episode Martha shows three of her favorites. First she cooks up a Mushroom Barley Soup that’s based on her mother’s recipe. Next she makes Couscous Royale, a great way to showcase this versatile grain. She finishes up with Grits with Broiled Tomatoes, featuring bubbly cheddar cheese and crispy bacon.

Martha Stewart soaks dried mushrooms in warm water to make them tender enough to cut.


Made from steamed and dried durum wheat, couscous is now a popular alternative for rice and pasta. It contains tiny granules of semolina that have a slightly fluffy texture. Couscous is steamed several times until it gets the required texture.

Though being a traditional North African dish, couscous has adapted itself to various cuisines. In Libya and Morocco, it is cooked spicy and is served with vegetables and meat. In Egypt, couscous is more preferred to be eaten as a dessert. Couscous has been voted as everyone’s favorite dish in various polls conducted all over France and Spain. Palestinians serve couscous as a dish during special occasions and holidays.

It is also prepared as a sweet dish called 'seffa' where steamed semolina is flavored with almonds, cinnamon and sugar. This may be served with flavored milk or as a cold soup. Though couscous doesn't have a flavor of its own, it is a best add-on for vegetable and meat recipes. It also blends well with salads and desserts.

Thanks to the instant couscous, the traditional preparation methods of spending hours drying and steaming wheat are given rest. Instant couscous is now readily available in all grocery stores.

1. Compared to pasta, couscous is lower in calories. However, pasta provides better protein content.
2. Couscous is also a good source of Vitamin B that helps in brain function and cell growth.
3. Semolina wheat from which couscous is prepared is good source of dietary fiber, that helps to balance the blood sugar levels and lowers cholesterol.

The world’s first manufacturing plant of couscous started in Algeria in 1907.
In some popular cultures, couscous is prepared symbolizing luck and blessings.
Wassa wassa is another form of couscous made using yams.

Couscous Royale

Couscous is made out of semolina and it take hours to roll it to a specific size, but now you can buy a packet of couscous and make it in a few hours.

How to prepare the semolina

The couscoussier is a traditional two-pot steamer to cook couscous. The bottom pot can also be used for cooking the stew.

You will need to get a good quality couscous, open the packet and wash the grains of couscous from the dust. It just needs to be submerge with saltywater, move it around with your fingers and pass it to asieve and make sure you take out all the water. When the water is all out let him dry.

Pass the couscous through you fingers make sure it is separated, don't leave any lumps of couscous. After few minutes add some plain oil (sunflower oil) and mix it again with your hands. Add to the Couscousier (the name of steamer). It takes around 10 to 15 minute for the steam to cook the 1first part. The couscous is ready when you will see the steam pass through in full between the grains.

When ready, put it back into a large bowl and mix it with a wooden spoon and try to separate all the grain of couscous (until it cools down, give it ½ an hour to rest) and put it back for a second time. When the steam has passed through the couscous put it into a bowls and add some butter.

Reserve it until you serve, you can also steam some raisin or any types of dried fruit and add them to semolina.

Couscous will be served most likely with stew made of lamb or chicken. Couscous Royale consists of the semolina and the stew and merguez (spicy lamb sausages). If you would prefer a vegetarian option, add more vegetables such as sweet pototoes, potatoes and parsnips, and triple the chickpea quantity. Alternatively, if you would like to use fish, ensure that it’s only cooked for five to eight minutes after vegetables have been cooking for half an hour.

How to make the stew


4 tbsp sunflower oil or 50g butter
1 onion, sliced
4 tomatoes, quartered
600g of lamb shoulder diced
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp Ras el Hanout or “Head of the shop” (spice mixture from North Africa featuring cinnamon, turmeric, cumin, ground ginger, cardamom, cloves, paprika, seasalt and pepper found in the north Africa)
1 tbsp paprika (extra to spice mixture above)
1 tbsp cumin (extra to spice mixture above)
Salt and pepper
1 tin chick peas
1tbsp of good tomato paste
2 litres chicken stock
4 chicken drumsticks
6 Merguez lamb spiced sausages
3 turnips, each halved
4 Carrots, each quartered
1 bunch of coriander
2 zucchini, each quartered

In pot, heat oil or butter and sweat onions and tomatoes until soft and transparent.

Add diced lamb and sear until brown.

Add all the spices including salt and peppers. Keep stirring, making sure you do not burn any of the spices.

Add tomato paste and chick peas (can be raw but need to be soaked overnight).

Add chicken stock or plain water and simmer for 40 minutes.

Add drumsticks about 20 minutes later.

While drumsticks are cooking, grill the merguez.

Add the vegetables (except the zucchini) and a whole bunch of coriander and cook for 10 minutes.

Add the zucchini and cook for 5 minutes.

Serve in big dish with semolina, make a hole in the semolina and add vegetables and meats on the top.

Garnish with grilled sausages and some fresh coriander.

If you would like a sauce condiment, take some of the stock and add harissa to make it spicier. Serve it on the side and enjoy!

Athmane's Roots

My name is Athmane and I am from France. My cultural back ground is Algerian (North Africa), my parents migrated to France in 1962 from a raging war. Life was very hard for them, as they didn't speak the language. and didn’t understand the French way of living.

A vivid memory I have growing up was of my mother’s passion for cooking. I think this dish is symbolic of staying attached to their cultural roots. Cooking couscous was always a way of remembering Algeria and our cultural background. I still remember the smell of her cooking and the love my mum had as she created this beautiful dish to feed the hungry tribe, but most of all our souls.

Friday is a very important day for Muslims. It is more significant and more beneficial than any other day of the week. It is the day that Muslims gather together to pray in congregation, and North Africa (Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia) we will have this dish to celebrate the the holiday. This recipe would be commonly eaten by families on Friday night. Traditionally, meat would only be eaten once a month.

I have watched my Mum with so much interest, I was glued to the kitchen and I still remember the smell of spices floating in the house. The anticipation of a great meal was in our minds,

My dad was a very small grower, most of our vegetable were very simple, such as carrots, potatoes, tomatoes and fresh herds .we could also go to the neighbours and they will always have some veges in exchange of my mother’s couscous. Sharing is most beneficial reward we should do and it is a must in our religion, we were always feeling very great full to be able to give some away.

We always gathered for dinner and this magical dish was always on the table, friends and neighbours use to drop by and we would enjoy all together.

Couscous is so can be we can eat it the stew or with laben (fermented milk).My Father use to add sugar or watermelon and grapes to make simple desert.

It has always been a great feeling to eat this dish with my family, it brought me back home in south of France.

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This versatile grain is ideal as a blank canvas for lots of bold flavours, from one-pot stews to fresh summery salads. Here’s how to cook it to perfection.

L’hamd Marakad

L’hamd marakad, the pickled lemon, is an essential ingredient in Moroccan cooking, served as part of tajine and couscous recipes, as one the main ingredients in salads and plates of vegetables or as a means of flavoring chicken dishes. It should be made using citron beldi, the traditional Moroccan lemons of the doqq or boussera varieties. The lemons are quartered and preserved in water, lemon juice and salt and left to ferment and soften for four to five weeks. After that, the rinds, in particular, are valued for their intense flavor.

Cowboy Caviar Couscous Salad

Spring is here, which means summer is around the corner, thereby—bringing us all closer to bikini season. Yay, you say. I know—who doesn’t want to eat like a bird and work out like a maniac for a little natural nip-tuck. So to help you along, let me suggest this Cowboy Caviar Couscous Salad and the book Absolutely Avocados from Gaby Dalkin.

Yeah, you guessed it: book review.

Before I get ahead of myself, let’s talk about this salad. Luckily, I don’t need to say much, see the picture. It’s great for a fast and easy weeknight meal—just toss it all in one bowl. Or dress it up like I did, by using Treviso as the serving bowl—high five for versatility and ease of preparation.

And since no one wants to read a long book review, here are a few more reasons to stretch your credit-card-sliding wrist, better yet, keep your ass planted—Amazon link here.

The great all rounder

Couscous, the staple of north African cookery, is one of those wonderful ingredients that seems to have no end of uses - and it works equally well in savoury and sweet dishes. No wonder Heston Blumenthal loves it so much

M any people think of couscous as a grain, but in fact it's nothing of the sort. What it is - and here, as so often, I owe much to Alan Davidson's immense Oxford Companion To Food - is tiny lumps of dough that are traditionally made by sprinkling salted water on to flour and then working this with the hands in a circular motion until it clumps into pellets. As the dough is stirred and rolled, a layer of starch is formed, which protects the dough from deteriorating and can also prolong its shelf life for months.

These balls are then sieved to ensure that they are of even size, and then graded, before they are dried for storage - for couscous comes in several sizes, ranging from 1mm to more than 3mm in diameter, and each type is best suited to one preparation or another (much like different pasta shapes are used for different sauces).

Of course, these days most of the couscous available in the shops is made by automated water sprinklers and mechanical hands. But there is no reason why you shouldn't try out the old-fashioned technique at home and make it yourself - if you are so inclined, the dough can be made from a variety of flours, although the couscous we find in this country is usually made with hard wheat semolina (barley and green wheat can also be used).

Couscous is traditionally cooked by steaming, although the larger grained versions tend to be cooked directly in the stewpot. It is usually cooked in a special vessel, called a couscoussier, which is made from either earthenware or woven grass and has two compartments. The couscous cooks by steam coming from water, or stock, in the lower part of the vessel. The couscous that is available in British supermarkets, however, needs to be cooked and rehydrated at the same time, and there are several ways of doing this. The easiest by far is simply to pour some boiling water over the grains, then to cover them and leave them to absorb all the water, as they will then cook at the same time.

The origin of couscous is not altogether certain, but it is generally agreed that it hails from north Africa, Algeria and Morocco to be more specific. And it reaches its finest hour in couscous royale, a feast that is truly fit for a king, featuring a spicy stew of chicken, lamb collar, beef shin, merguez and vegetables, on a mound of glistening couscous.

Recipes serve four to six.

Couscous with hazelnut and rosemary

This simple recipe is a delicious way to prepare couscous. It differs from conventional methods in that the couscous is toasted first, which helps contribute to the nutty flavour provided by the hazelnuts.

400ml water
4 branches fresh rosemary
10g peeled hazelnuts
1 tbsp groundnut oil
250g couscous
30g unsalted butter
Salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 180C. Bring the water to the boil, remove from the heat at once, set aside to cool for a few minutes, then add three of the four branches of rosemary. Leave to infuse for half an hour.

Roast the hazelnuts in the hot oven for 20 minutes, or until lightly toasted, then remove and set aside to cool. When the nuts are cold, roughly chop them and set aside.

Place the rosemary water over a medium flame. In another pan that is large enough to hold all the couscous at a depth of more than half a centimetre, add the oil and place on high heat. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the couscous and stir continually, turning it over to ensure an even colouration - this whole process will take about five minutes.

When the couscous has started to turn a light golden-brown, add the reheated rosemary water - please make sure that you stand well back, because a lot of heat will have built up in the pan, so there will be a lot of steam when you add the water. Take the leaves off the remaining rosemary sprig, chop and add to the couscous, along with the chopped hazelnuts.

Take the pan off the heat, cover with clingfilm and leave the couscous to cook and absorb all the water. This will take up to half an hour. To serve, incorporate the butter with a fork, then season with salt and pepper - and be brave: this dish requires pretty heavy seasoning.

Couscous-c'est moi au pain perdu

This recipe comes from a book written by the wife of one of the world's great pastry chefs, Pierre Hermé. Frédérick E Grasser-Hermé's book, Delices d'inities, is a wonderful collection of recipes using commercial food products with which modern France has grown up. This one calls on good old English mass-produced long-life bread to make couscous - and why not? After all, couscous is essentially a basic dough. Although a couscoussier is advised for this recipe, a steamer with holes that are small enough for the couscous not to escape will do the trick, too. In the original recipes, a round loaf of bread is hollowed out to create a serving bowl for the couscous, but for ease - yes, I know that's unlike me - I have omitted that and simply increased the slices of bread required accordingly.

10-12 slices American sandwich bread (this is a French bread that, over there, is thought to replicate the plastic bread of America and England - in other words, sliced white)
600g diced lamb shoulder
1 lamb bone (marrow in)
2 soupspoons dried haricot beans
1 soupspoon lentils
1 bunch fresh coriander
bunch flat-leaf parsley
1 large onion
1 tomato, peeled
3 cloves garlic
1 coffeespoon fenugreek
1 coffeespoon powdered ginger
2 slices fresh ginger
5 strands saffron
1 coffeespoon paprika
2 soupspoons olive oil
1 soupspoon tomato concentrate
1 small red chilli
bunch coriander

Trim the crusts off the slices of bread then place it in a food processor. Process until the crumb turns sand-like in texture, then pass it through a flour sieve - this helps to give the final couscous an even texture.

Place the diced meat and bone in a casserole. Add the beans, lentils, onion, tomato, garlic and aromatics to the casserole along with the spices. Cover with cold water, add the olive oil and tomato paste, and place on high heat. Bring to the boil, skim, reduce the heat and simmer for one and a half to two hours.

Finely zest the lime, then chop this with the coriander. Mix this and a little olive oil into the sieved breadcrumbs, then season well.

When ready to serve, put the couscous in the top part of the couscoussier (or a steaming basket), place this over the stew and cover. Steam for three minutes, and serve at once with the stew.

Sweet couscous

This interesting variation on the couscous theme can easily be adapted to serve individual tastes, though that said it works particularly well with chopped fruit. Strawberries and raspberries in summer and pineapple, or apple (perhaps caramelised) in winter would make a great accompaniment.

1 brioche
1 big knob butter
12 mint leaves
lemon, zested
1 pinch salt
1 level teaspoon icing sugar

Cut the crusts off the brioche and discard. Process the bread in a food processor until crumbed, then pass through a sieve so that the grains are of similar size. To cook, simply steam the crumbs for a couple of minutes, then turn them out into a bowl.

Add the butter, and gently toss it in to the crumbs with a fork until melted. Add the mint, finely sliced, and the lemon zest, then season with salt and sugar. Serve at once

Watch the video: Recette: Couscous de Thierry Marx - Les carnets de Julie - Couscous à la carte!