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This traditional Lebanese Moghrabieh stew is the perfect comfort food! Made with a spiced chicken broth this hearty couscous stew is seasoned with warming spices. Served as a main or appetizer, it’s a full, well balanced meal that the whole family will love!
What is mograbieh
Mograbieh is the name of this dish as well as the couscous-like pearls that are used in it. Mograbieh pearls are made from wheat semolina and you buy them dried and boil them until tender. They are known as Lebanese couscous as they resemble couscous in shape and texture. If you can’t find mograbieh pearls, you can substitute them with couscous.
The Mograbieh stew is made with these semolina pearls, chicken, chickpeas, onions and spices. Beef is also a popular protein.
How do you make mograbieh
To make the spiced chicken broth
Sear the chicken thighs in butter in a large pot with the onions until they are browned on both sides.
Add the spices to the pot along with the water and simmer. Halfway through simmering, skim any fat that rises to the surface.
Remove the chicken thighs from the pot, shred it and return to the pot.
To make the moghabrieh
Add the moghrabieh to a pot with the butter and season. Cover with the water and boil until soft.
Serve the warm moghrabieh with a couple of the ladles of the spicy chicken broth.
Tips for making mograbieh
- Keep the couscous separate from the broth. It’s traditional to serve them separately like you would serve spaghetti with marinara separately. This helps to control portions and also keeps the couscous from getting too soggy.
- Use chicken thighs in this recipe. They have much more flavor compared to breasts as they have a higher fat content. Use organic chicken if you can.
- Make the chicken broth in a heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven. Heavy bottomed pans distribute the heat more evenly so that you don’t get hotspots which can burn the bottom of the broth.
Frequently asked questions
Yes! If you prefer, you can make this with stew beef. Sear the beef, as you do with the chicken in this recipe to help lock in the flavors. You can also make this dish with lamb in the same way.
You can make the chicken broth ahead of time and keep it in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days, you can just reheat it on the stovetop to serve. It is best to make the moghrabieh pearls just before they are ready to be served. They are very absorbent and will soak up any liquid.
Moghrabieh is easily found in Middle Eastern stores if you have one near you. It can be found in superstores too; it is often sold as giant couscous or Lebanese couscous. You can also buy it online.
I love this hearty stew from my childhood and I so enjoy serving it to my family! It’s so comforting and filling and the spices really make it come alive!
More Lebanese Recipes
- Lebanese Ful Medames
- Homemade Lebanese Kanafa
- Lebanese Stuffed Grape Leaves (Warak Enab)
- Lebanese Baba Ganoush Recipe
- Best Lebanese Hummus Recipe
- White Bean Hummus
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Spiced Chicken Broth
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 2 cups dry moghrabieh couscous
- ½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon caraway
Spiced Chicken Broth
- Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large pot or Dutch oven. Pat the chicken thighs dry using a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper and place the chicken on the melted butter in the pot. Add the onions on top and allow the chicken to sear for 3-4 minutes until lightly browned.
- Flip the chicken over and sear the other side for another 3-4 minutes. Add the spices, bay leaves and cinnamon stick on top of the chicken and onions. Cover everything with 6 cups of water, bring to a boil and then simmer for 15 minutes. Skim any fat that rises to the top and add the drained chickpeas. Cook for 15 more minutes.
- Remove the chicken thighs from the cooked broth, shred it using your hands or two forks, then return to the pot.
- Heat the butter in a medium pot. Add the dry moghrabieh and season salt and caraway. Cover with 3 cups of water, bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes, until tender. Remove from heat and fluff with a fork.
- Serve the moghrabieh warm with a couple ladles of the chicken broth. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.