Lemony chicken stew with giant couscous

Lemony chicken stew with giant couscous

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
(47 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 1 hr plus longer cooking if needed


Serves 4

This healthy Moroccan-style one-pot can be slow-cooked and dished up at different times - ideal for busy households

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable
  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal415
  • fat9g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs48g
  • sugars18g
  • fibre5g
  • protein33g
  • salt1.6g
Save to My Good Food
Please sign in or register to save recipes.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 2 onions, chopped



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 500g skinless boneless chicken thighs, each cut into 2-3 chunks
  • 3 tbsp tagine paste or 2 tbsp ras el hanout
  • 2 x 400g cans tomato with chopped mixed olives



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • small handful fresh oregano, leaves picked and chopped
  • 2 preserved lemons, flesh removed, skin rinsed and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 200g giant couscous
  • handful parsley, chopped



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…


  1. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish with a lid. Add the onions and cook for 10 mins until starting to caramelise. Push the onions to one side of the dish and add the chicken. Cook over a high heat for 5 mins or so until the chicken is browning.

  2. Add the tagine paste, tomatoes, oregano, preserved lemons and honey, and crumble in the stock cube. Fill one of the tomato cans halfway with water and pour this into the dish. Season with a little salt and plenty of black pepper. Give everything a good stir, then cover with a lid and simmer for 40 mins, on a gentle bubble, or for up to 4 hrs over a very low heat if you’re eating at different times.

  3. Add the couscous 10 mins before you’re ready to serve, cover and simmer for 10 mins or until cooked. If you’re eating at different times, scoop your portion into a pan, add 50g couscous and cook in the same way. Stir in some parsley just before serving.

You may also like

Comments, questions and tips

Sign in or create your My Good Food account to join the discussion.
Andrew Lawston's picture
Andrew Lawston
5th Jul, 2020
This has become one of our regular favourites over the last six months or so - we had some ras al hanout and some giant couscous to use up in the cupboard when lockdown started. We had been using unwaxed lemon zest but our local supermarket randomly had preserved lemons the other week (but no flour, go figure) - definitely works better if you can find them.
Chris Naylor's picture
Chris Naylor
23rd Jun, 2020
Really enjoyed this, more than I was expecting to. I used a spice mix and kept it to 1 whole preserved lemon chopped up small and added in there. It bubbled down to a lovely savoury flavour with a hint of lemon. Didn’t have giant cous cous so served with some normal cous cous on the side.
Georgia Shoare's picture
Georgia Shoare
16th Jun, 2020
Love this recipe! It is a family favourite, I have cooked it many times. Make it the way the recipe suggests but I leave out the parsley and olives and use one fresh lemon cut into four, and fish it out at the end (I don’t find it too lemony).
4th Oct, 2018
Cooked this the other month and really did t like it. It was far too tangy for mine and my partners liking. Very sad as I was so looking forward to it.
12th Aug, 2018
Followed this using the ingredients as listed and it was delicious. I seasoned it with smoked sea salt at the end. Will make again.
Taya Elibrachy
14th Mar, 2018
9th Jan, 2018
I cooked this tonight for 5 people. I used 10 thighs which I browned off before without removing the skin. I used a fresh lemon instead of buying preserved lemons. The wax can be removed quite easily by soaking it quickly in fairly hot water then scrubbing it with a brush under cold water. The dish was tasty, quite lemony so I was glad that I only used 1 lemon and not 2. Next time will add much more parsley. I also used ras el hanout instead of tagine paste. Quick and easy to make.
Charlotte Carey's picture
Charlotte Carey
5th Jan, 2018
My family love this. Easy to make in slow cooker and if you cant get preserved lemons, just cut a lemon in half and chuck it in and it will be infused with delicious lemony taste. Add the cous cous at the end otherwise it’ll go mushy.
7th May, 2017
My kids adore this. I use plain tinned tomatoes and add loads of olives as the boys love them. Good hearty healthy food.
12th Mar, 2017
Really lovely! I didn't find it too lemony, but I added a teaspoon of harissa paste so that might be why! I thought there was too much tomato though, and the couscous had to be fished. Next time I'll only use one tin of tomatoes and maybe a bit more water.


20th Jul, 2019
at what point can this dish be frozen?
goodfoodteam's picture
22nd Jul, 2019
Thanks for your question. For best results, we'd suggest freezing at the end of step two.
26th Mar, 2018
The picture looks as though the recipe contains olives but this is not included in the ingredients list. Was this an omission?
goodfoodteam's picture
1st Apr, 2018
Thanks for your question. The recipe uses cans of tomato with chopped olives in them.
31st Mar, 2017
Is it ok to use ordinary lemon instead rather than preserved?
goodfoodteam's picture
10th Apr, 2017
Thanks for your question. You need to use preserved lemons in this recipe, fresh lemons will not give a good result. You can buy them at the supermarket or they're simple to make yourself, with this recipe: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1977656/preserved-lemons
26th Oct, 2016
Could I use chick peas instead of couscous ? What is a preserved lemon ? Thanks.
goodfoodteam's picture
1st Nov, 2016
Hi there, thanks for your question. Couscous is a grain and chickpeas are a pulse so you'll get quite different results but as long as you're aware of that, you could omit the couscous and add a can of chickpeas instead if you like. Preserved lemons have been packed in salt and spices, then covered with lemon juice or brine and pickled. You can buy them in supermarkets or try our recipe. They add an intense lemon flavour to North African cuisine.
25th Oct, 2016
Would this recipe cook ok in a slow cooker?
goodfoodteam's picture
1st Nov, 2016
Hi there, yes you can do this in a slow cooker. Take a look at our slow cooker tips for how to adapt the recipe. Remember you'll need to adjust the couscous cooking time too. 


Be the first to suggest a tip for this recipe...Got your own twist on this recipe? Or do you have suggestions for possible swaps and additions? We’d love to hear your ideas.
Want to receive regular food and recipe web notifications from us?