Couscous with Lamb and Chicken

From Carolyne Kauser-Abbott

2014 Mar/Apr

This is a traditional preparation and presentation for couscous. The recipe comes from a friend in France who lived in Algeria for a period of time.


  • 3 – 4 T. olive oil
  • 6 pieces of lamb collar (neck), including the bone
  • 6 chicken thighs, including the skin
  • 1/3 c. tomato paste
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 T. ground cumin
  • 1 T. ras el hanout, a Moroccan spice blend
  • 4 c. water
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 turnip, peeled and diced
  • 2 zucchinis, diced
  • 1 each red and green peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small Napa cabbage or regular cabbage, chopped
  • 6 canned artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1 c. chickpeas from a can or bottle, drained
  • 2-3 t. salt
  • 1 package instant couscous
  • 1 T. harissa, from a can, mixed with a little water


In a large stockpot, heat the olive oil on medium and brown all the meat slightly. Remove the chicken and set aside on a plate. Add tomato paste, chopped onion, garlic and spices to the pan; allow the spices to cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the water and turn up the heat until the water boils. Reduce the heat to medium and cover the pot. Cook for about 15 minutes. Return the chicken to the stockpot. Add the carrots and turnip and cook for another 15 minutes.

Taste the sauce at this stage and adjust the spices if necessary. Add the chopped zucchini, peppers and cabbage. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the artichokes, chickpeas and salt to suit your taste. Reduce heat to low and simmer, until your couscous is ready.

Prepare the couscous according to the package instructions.

Serve the couscous on a large platter surrounded by the meat and vegetables. With a large slotted spoon remove the meat and vegetables and arrange around a central mound of couscous. Strain the remaining liquid from the pot and serve in a bowl alongside your meal. Serve the harissa on the side. Serves 4 to 6.