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Super easy, and perfect for cooler temps, this Lebanese Moghrabieh Chicken Stew with chickpeas has a delicious blend of flavors and textures. It’s a healthy dinner that’s brimming with irresistible Middle Eastern spices!
What is Moghrabieh- Mograbieh?
Moghrabieh – Mograbieh – Mograbiah also known as peal couscous, Lebanese couscous or giant couscous, is not actually regular couscous. It is more of a cousin to couscous than actual couscous. Moghrabieh Lebanese couscous is a small, perfectly round pasta with a delightful chewiness, made from wheat semolina flour. You can find these Lebanese pearls at any Middle Eastern/Mediterranean store or you can order it online.
What you Need to Make Chicken Moghrabieh:
Lebanese Mograbieh: Pearl couscous, also known as Israeli couscous.
Chicken: I like to use chicken thighs and legs in this recipe, as they tend to be more moist and tender than chicken breasts, you can also use a whole chicken.
Middle Eastern Spices: Moghrabieh spices can be found pre-mixed at any Middle Eastern grocery store or online, but is also very simple to make at home. You will need; ground caraway, ground all spice and ground cinnamon.
Butter: One tablespoon for searing the Lebanese couscous.
Onions: This recipe is authentically made with fresh pearl onions. If you don’t have access to pearl onions you can use regular size onions cut into cubes or frozen peal onion, which what I used here.
Chickpeas: Cooked chickpeas, you can use canned chickpeas to save time or boil your own.
How do you make Chicken Moghrabieh:
Cook the Chicken:
- Place chicken legs and thighs in a large pot over medium high heat and add enough water to cover the chicken completely.
- Bring chicken to a boil, using a large spoon, skim excess fat that rises to the top.
- Add bay leaves if available and cinnamon sticks for extra flavor.
- Cover the pot, reduce heat to medium low and let simmer until the chicken is fork tender and cooked through. This will take about 40 minutes.
- Once the chicken is cooked, add peeled pearl onions and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat, keep the pot covered so the onions continue to cook for a little bit.
- Once chicken is cooled enough to handle, shred chicken into coarse chucks and discard the bones and skin. Set aside.
- Reserve both chicken broth for cooking the moghrabieh pearls and onions for serving.
Prepare the Moghrabieh/Mograbiah
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter and add the Lebanese couscous, spices and salt. Mix well and sear for 5 minutes.
- Pour reserved chicken broth, just enough to cover the spiced moghrabieh.
- Add in cooked chickpeas, mix well with the cooked moghrabieh pearls.
Prepare the Nuts Topping- if using:
I used whole raw almonds, but you can use any other kind of nut such as cashews.
- Place small pan over medium heat, heat olive oil for couple minutes.
- Add the almonds and stir constantly, until golden brown. This will take around 4 minutes.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
To serve Lebanese Moghrabieh with Chicken:
Place the cooked moghrabieh and chickpeas in a serving plate, top with a layer of coarse shredded chicken, a layer of pearl onions and then sprinkle with almonds on top.
How to Store Mograbieh:
Mograbieh will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge stored in an air tight container. Try to store the chicken and the moghrabieh in two separate containers. I feel that its helps keep the mograbieh from getting soggy.