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Moroccan Chicken Stew with Sweet Potatoes


Cinnamon and ginger complement the sweet potatoes in this easy but exotic-tasting chicken stew. Fluffy couscous absorbs the aromatic sauce.

  • Prep:
  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

Photography: José Manuel Picayo Rivera

Source: Everyday Food, October 2007


  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 piece fresh ginger (2 inches long), peeled
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound total), peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Pinch of saffron, (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup couscous
  • Cilantro sprigs, for garnish (optional)


  1. Place flour in a wide, shallow bowl. Season chicken with salt and pepper; dredge in flour, shaking off excess. In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high. Add chicken, and cook until browned, 4 to 6 minutes per side; transfer to a plate.

  2. Add onion, ginger, and cinnamon to pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion starts to soften, 2 to 3 minutes. Return chicken to pot. Add broth, sweet potatoes, and, if using, saffron. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until chicken is cooked through and sweet potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Discard ginger and cinnamon. Stir in lemon juice, and season stew with salt and pepper.

  3. While stew is simmering, prepare couscous according to package instructions. Serve chicken stew with couscous, garnished with cilantro, if desired.

Cook's Notes

Cut the sweet potatoes into uniform chunks so they cook evenly in the stew.

Reviews Add a comment

  • MS112577645
    3 APR, 2014
    I am not sure why, but this recipe didn't impress me. I took suggestions from the comments about grating up ginger, adding cinnamon to the dredging flour, adding garlic and extra flour and a couple cloves. I also garnished with sliced almonds along with cilantro. It seemed to be lacking something. I thought perhaps a diced red bell pepper or two? Perhaps some coconut milk? And I agree, the thighs should be cut into smaller pieces in order to get them more tender with such a short stewing time.
  • girlwithcurlz
    22 SEP, 2013
    I made this recipe as is w/o saffron and it was great! It definitely tasty and not at all bland. Will definitely make again!
  • KristinArnors
    21 OCT, 2012
    I love this recipe, I've made it numerous times. I sometimes substitute fresh ginger and cinnamon sticks with ground ginger and ground cinnamon, it's just as good. I sometimes also add some garlic and an onion.
  • johannaehrhard
    12 JUL, 2012
    Doing some changes, this turned out to be absolutely delicious. I used mor ginger, ground cinnamon and turmeric instead of saffron. Additionally, I served low-fat joghurt seasoned with salt, Tabasco & mint leaves. This was a lovely contrast in terms of temperature and texture. Last but not least, I flavoured the couscous. Besides salt and some olive oil I added soaked raisins and apricots (dried). tip: Cut the chicken into very small pieces to achieve tenderness in the short amount of time.
  • denheels
    21 AUG, 2011
    Loved it! I added garlic and took steps to make the ginger more intense. The only other thing I would change would be to make more couscous! Fantastic-- tastes like it was more complicated than it was. Will be making it again and again.
  • Hopeasilma7
    13 MAY, 2011
    This is a wonderful recipe. I served it for dinner for some friends and they loved it! It is a comfort food and no, it is not bland. It is just right :) Tasty but not overly so. I highly recommend it!
  • stppzone
    30 JAN, 2011
    i have subscribed to everyfood sense 07
  • belfant
    12 JAN, 2011
    A great meal on a cold night. I added some dried apricots and plums, which give the stew a sweetness that reminds me of Moroccan tangines. Also added a bit of Spanish paprika to balance out the sweetness. I've made similar dishes in my pressure cooker which cuts on the cooking time, and concentrates the flavors. This will be a new staple in my repertoire.
  • margnik
    15 DEC, 2010
    this is a amazing recipe, wonderful for the cold weather. really takes the chill off your bones and very quick to cook.. I did add minced ginger when the recipe called to discard the 2 inch ginger and cinnamon stick. very healthy comfort food..
  • CeciliaPrytko
    17 NOV, 2010
    This is stick-to-your-ribs, perfect comfort food. I also found it bland. Next time I'll chop up the ginger. I also added garlic, salt and pepper and served it over orzo. Easy and quick to make. Dinner was ready in 30 min.