After enjoying a fun Spanish snack today, we journeyed just a little bit south to Morocco for tonight's dinner.  We enjoyed Moroccan Chicken Kabobs, Moroccan Couscous, and Fava Beans. It was all very flavorful. If you ever want to expand your spice palate, these are some great recipes to try!  I had never purchased cardamon before.  I'd also never purchased fava beans.  The only ones I was able to find were at Whole Foods in the vegetable section.  They were pre-shelled and pre-cooked so I did not need to use the recipe I had found.  I've included it at the bottom of this post in case you are not as lucky as I was and only find the raw beans.

The Verdict:  Well, it was definitely a mix tonight.  It didn't help that no one was really hungry for dinner.  The couscous was good, but in small doses.  The flavors were a little too much for our youngest who would eat the raisins and chick peas, but not much else.  The chicken was really good.  I thought that it would be the favorite part of dinner for the girls.  Nope.  While they didn't complain about the chicken, they LOVED the fava beans!  I presented them with the beans and two dipping spices (cumin & salt).  They each asked for more!!!  Weird, right?

Moroccan Chicken Kabobs (original recipe from Spoonful)

You will need:

1 small onion, quartered
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup olive oil
2 TBSP ground coriander
2 TBSP cumin
1 TBSP caraway seeds
1 TBSP paprika
4 cloves garlic, minced
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch-wide strips
Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish

Put all the ingredients except the chicken and parsley into a food processor.  I used my Ninja!  {Make sure that you have all the ingredients added in - I forgot to add the garlic and had to mix it in later!}  Blend them until thoroughly chopped and mixed.  Thread the chicken onto pre-soaked bamboo skewers and place them in a shallow glass dish.  Spread the marinade evenly across the chicken kebabs, turning them to make sure that all areas are covered.

Let marinate overnight (or if you forgot to do it the night before like someone I know, let it marinate as long as you can!).  Grill until the chicken is cooked through, turning frequently.

He's such a trooper, grilling for me in sub-zero temps!
Garnish with some chopped parsley.

Moroccan Couscous (original recipe is all over the internet! Here's one location.)

You need:

1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/8 tsp ground coriander
1/8 tsp ground allspice
2-1/4 teaspoons olive oil
1 small red onion, cut in half and thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
3/8 cup (1/4 cup and 2 TBSP) golden raisins
3/4 tsp kosher salt
grated zest of one orange
1 (14.5 ounce) can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/8 cup (1 cup and 2 TBSP) chicken broth
3/8 cup (1/4 cup and 2 TBSP) orange juice
1 1/8 cup (1 cup and 2 TBSP) couscous
2 TBSP and 3/4 tsp chopped fresh mint

Put cumin, ginger, cloves, cayenne, cardamom, coriander, and allspice into a large pot.  Heat over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes (until the spices become fragrant).  Add the oil and onions and cook until the onions have softened.

Stir in the bell pepper and zucchini pieces and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the raisins, salt, orange zest, and garbanzos.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.

Add the orange juice and broth, turn up the heat to high and allow to boil.  Remove from heat and stir in the couscous.  Cover and let cook for 5 minutes.  Fluff and garnish with the chopped mint.

Fava Beans (recipe from

1 cup shelled fava beans
1 TBSP olive oil

Boil a quart of water in a pot. Add the fava beans and olive oil, partially cover the pot, and boil over medium heat for about 30 minutes, or until the fava beans are tender and can be squeezed out of their skins. If you like, add a teaspoon of salt during the last few minutes of cooking. Be careful not to overcook, or the interior of the bean will be mushy rather than intact.

Drain the fava beans, and serve with salt and cumin on the side for dipping.

Enjoy a deliciously flavorful Moroccan dinner!

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