Chicken Couscous Recipe from Central African Republic with Pine Nuts, Apricots, and Mint

Chicken Couscous

Chicken Couscous Recipe from Central African Republic with Pine Nuts, Apricots, and Mint
Region / culture: Central African Republic | Preparation time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 10 minutes | Servings: 4


Chicken Couscous
Chicken Couscous

Chicken couscous is a flavorful and satisfying dish that combines tender shredded chicken with fluffy couscous, sweet dried fruits, and aromatic spices. This dish is perfect for a quick and easy weeknight meal or a special occasion dinner.


Couscous is a traditional North African dish made from steamed semolina grains. It has been a staple food in the region for centuries and is often served with a variety of meats, vegetables, and spices. The addition of chicken to couscous is a popular variation that adds protein and flavor to the dish.


How to prepare

  1. In a small skillet, stir pine nuts and cumin seeds over low heat until they become fragrant.
  2. In a large saucepan, bring the stock to a boil and then remove from heat.
  3. Stir in the couscous, cover, and let it stand for about 5 minutes or until the stock is absorbed. Fluff it with a fork.
  4. Stir in the onion, chicken, apricots, sultanas, and mint.
  5. Add the pine nuts and cumin seeds.
  6. Add the dressing and gently toss to combine.


  • Substitute the chicken with lamb or beef for a different flavor.
  • Add chopped vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, or carrots for extra nutrients.
  • Use different dried fruits like raisins, dates, or figs for a unique twist.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Toasting the pine nuts and cumin seeds before adding them to the dish will enhance their flavor.

- Make sure to fluff the couscous with a fork after it has absorbed the stock to prevent it from becoming clumpy.

- Adjust the amount of dressing to suit your taste preferences - you can add more or less depending on how moist you like your couscous.

Serving Suggestions

Serve chicken couscous with a side of fresh salad or steamed vegetables for a complete and nutritious meal.

Cooking Techniques

The key cooking techniques for this recipe include toasting the pine nuts and cumin seeds, steaming the couscous, and gently tossing all the ingredients together to combine.

Ingredient Substitutions

If you don't have pine nuts, you can use slivered almonds or chopped walnuts instead. You can also use chicken broth instead of vegetable stock for a richer flavor.

Make Ahead Tips

You can prepare the couscous mixture ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Just make sure to add the dressing right before serving to prevent the couscous from becoming soggy.

Presentation Ideas

Garnish the chicken couscous with fresh mint leaves or a sprinkle of chopped parsley for a pop of color and freshness.

Pairing Recommendations

Chicken couscous pairs well with a crisp white wine like Sauvignon Blanc or a light red wine like Pinot Noir. You can also serve it with a glass of sparkling water with a splash of lemon for a refreshing drink.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, place the couscous in a microwave-safe dish and heat on high for 1-2 minutes, or until warmed through.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of chicken couscous contains approximately 400 calories.


Each serving of chicken couscous contains approximately 45 grams of carbohydrates.


Each serving of chicken couscous contains approximately 12 grams of fats.


Each serving of chicken couscous contains approximately 25 grams of proteins.

Vitamins and minerals

Chicken couscous is a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, and calcium.


This recipe contains nuts (pine nuts) and gluten (couscous).


Chicken couscous is a balanced meal that provides a good mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, along with essential vitamins and minerals.


Chicken couscous is a delicious and nutritious dish that is easy to make and perfect for any occasion. With a balance of flavors and textures, this dish is sure to become a favorite in your recipe repertoire. Enjoy!

How did I get this recipe?

The memory of finding this recipe for the first time brings a smile to my face. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting my friend Maria in her cozy little cottage by the sea. Maria was a wonderful cook, and she always had the most delicious meals prepared for her guests.

On that particular day, Maria surprised me with a dish I had never tasted before – Chicken Couscous. The aroma of the spices filled the air as she brought out the steaming pot of golden grains mixed with tender chunks of chicken and colorful vegetables. I couldn't wait to dig in and taste this exotic dish.

As we sat down to eat, Maria told me the story of how she learned to make Chicken Couscous. She had traveled to Morocco years ago and had fallen in love with the vibrant flavors and aromatic spices of the cuisine. She had spent hours in the bustling markets, learning from the local vendors and chefs how to create traditional Moroccan dishes.

One of the recipes she had brought back with her was this Chicken Couscous, a hearty and flavorful dish that was perfect for a gathering of friends and family. She had made a few tweaks to the original recipe, adding her own personal touch to make it even more delicious.

I savored every bite of that meal, and I knew that I had to learn how to make it myself. Maria was kind enough to share her recipe with me, and I made a mental note to recreate it for my own family when I returned home.

Back in my own kitchen, I gathered the ingredients for the Chicken Couscous. I could still remember the smell of the spices from Maria's cottage, and I was determined to capture that same magic in my own version of the dish.

I started by marinating the chicken in a fragrant blend of cumin, coriander, and cinnamon, along with a squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. While the chicken soaked up the flavors, I chopped up an array of colorful vegetables – carrots, bell peppers, and zucchini – to add to the couscous later on.

In a large pot, I sautéed the marinated chicken until it was golden brown and cooked through. The spices filled the air, bringing back memories of that sunny day at Maria's cottage. Next, I added in the vegetables and let them cook until they were tender and flavorful.

Finally, I poured in the couscous and chicken broth, letting it all simmer together until the grains were fluffy and the flavors had melded into a delicious harmony. I could hardly wait to taste the finished dish.

As I sat down to eat, I closed my eyes and took a bite of the Chicken Couscous. The flavors exploded in my mouth – the savory chicken, the tender vegetables, the fragrant spices... it was a symphony of tastes and textures that transported me back to that day with Maria by the sea.

Since then, I have made Chicken Couscous many times for my family and friends. Each time, I remember that first taste of the dish at Maria's cottage and the joy of discovering a new recipe to add to my collection.

Cooking has always been a passion of mine, and I am grateful for the friends and experiences that have enriched my culinary journey. The recipe for Chicken Couscous holds a special place in my heart, reminding me of the power of food to bring people together and create lasting memories.

As I sit here now, writing this story and sharing it with you, I can't help but smile at the thought of all the delicious meals and cherished moments that lie ahead. And I hope that you, too, will find joy in cooking and sharing this recipe with your loved ones. Bon appétit!


| Central African Meat Dishes | Central African Recipes | Central African Salads | Chicken Recipes | Couscous Recipes | Dried Apricot Recipes | Golden Raisin Recipes | Mint Recipes | Pine Nut Recipes | Prepared Salad Dressing Recipes | Red Onion Recipes | Vegetable Stock And Broth Recipes |

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