Monday, February 2, 2015

Chicken and Butternut Squash Tagine with Couscous - IHCC East Meets West

With Asian flavours and an ingredient that's indigenous to North America (pumpkin), Diana Henry's Chicken and Pumpkin with Soy and Star Anise from A Change of Appetite was my choice for this week's I Heart Cooking Clubs' theme "East Meets West". A braised dish that required very little liquid, I thought it would be well suited to tagine cooking. Since I was using a North African cooking vessel, I went with Spring Couscous, a recipe from Plenty, for the side.
The ingredient list for the chicken dish looked rather daunting but it took just minutes to measure everything out: soy sauce, rice vinegar, fish sauce, brown sugar, red chile, garlic, ginger, orange zest, star anise, orange juice.....I was starting to imagine just how fantastic this dish would taste! I used a whole chicken, cut up and skinned, and butternut squash. Cooked stove top in the tagine, it took only 25 minutes.
The side dish couldn't have been simpler to make, pouring boiling stock over the couscous and then waiting. The whole grain couscous needed 60ml extra liquid to fluff up properly and I used only 1 tbsp olive oil (instead of 6!). Lemon juice and zest, toasted almonds, and parsley finished it nicely.
Wow! This was good! The chicken was moist and with a drizzle of the sauce, very flavourful. The squash, having absorbed all of those beautiful flavours, was fabulous and "didn't taste much like squash" according to family. The couscous was a good neutral side for this boldly flavoured main. Definitely a dish to be repeated.

Next week's theme is "Mystery Box Madness", my favourite of all of the challenges. Until then, visit here to see all of the other fusion dishes at IHCC.


  1. I really enjoyed this dish! I love the idea of cooking it in a tagine.

  2. Looks so delicious! Using a tagine sounds great! Serving the chicken with couscous makes a complete satisfying meal! Great choice!

  3. hi Zosa ,love your chicken and butter squash , sounds very delicious and rice on the side even better ,your blog is lovely by the way.

    1. When you have some time stop by and check out my post. ...

  4. This looks like a fabulous dish--I love all of the different flavors and ingredients. Tagines always make such succulent and flavorful dishes too. Great pick for the fusion theme! ;-)

  5. I can almost smell this cooking:) A lovely meal for sure, one that is very fragrant and comforting to say the least. Good call on cutting back the oil for the couscous. With all the flavor and sauce from the chicken you hardly need that much oil.


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