One Dish Dinners: Chicken and Chickpea Stew with Whole Wheat Couscous

It’s back to school time and while many of us (myself included!) welcome the return to routine, after a summer of late nights, getting dinner on the table at a reasonable hour can be a challenge. With that in mind, we’ll be featuring a week’s worth of one pot meals that can be made in advance and/or left on the stove for hours.

To kick off the week, here’s a simple take on a Moroccan chicken tagine–a family favorite as the temperature starts to dip. If you’re pressed for time, just toss all the ingredients together, bring to a simmer, cover and allow to cook for 45 minutes or so. The sweet potato and prunes give it a subtle sweetness that appeals to most toddlers (and older kids too). And when my son was an infant, I skipped the salt, pureed about a cup and froze individual ice cube-sized portion that will last for a couple months. For an vegetarian version, omit the chicken and use water or vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.

Extra-virgin olive oil
3 thick organic boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 tetrapak (or one BPA free 14-ounce can) chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tetrapak (or BPA-free can) chickpeas
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 zucchini, sliced
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut in half moon slices (I steam for a few minutes to soften before adding to pot)
handful prunes, chopped
1 cup whole wheat couscous

Season chicken with salt and pepper and saute in approx. 1 to 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat until golden brown (approx. 8 minutes, turning halfway through). Remove chicken and set aside. Add a touch more olive oil and cook onions until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute another 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, cumin and cinnamon, and continue cooking. Add chickpeas, broth, zucchini, sweet potato, and prunes and bring to a simmer. Return chicken to pot, cover and cook for an additional 20 to 30 minutes until chicken is tender. Meanwhile, prepare couscous according to package directions. Makes about 4 servings.