Moroccan Chili

I was at the gym the other day running on the treadmill and watching the Food Network. Yes, this is weird. Every so often I discover a recipe that forces me abandon my week meal plan, run to the store, and experiment. As an half Mexican Africa fanatic, this recipe just screamed Cristina. I was drooling on the treadmill, and left the gym feeling energized and inspired to cook. Moroccan food is known for its huge variety of spices crammed into one dish, so my biggest tip for this recipe is to make sure you DO NOT take out any of the ingredients. The beauty of this dish is the burst of amazing flavors. Happy cooking!

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds ground lamb (or beef, but honestly the lamb is AMAZING!)
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (I love garlic so I usually double this.)
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Salt and black pepper
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 (14-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken stock
1 1/2 cups whole wheat couscous
A handful golden raisins
A few dried apricots, chopped
A few tablespoons toasted pine nuts
A handful fresh parsley leaves, chopped
A handful fresh mint leaves, chopped
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives

1. Heat skillet with extra-virgin olive oil, add meat and brown. Season the meat with salt and pepper, to taste, chili powder, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and paprika. Add the bay leaf, onions, bell pepper and garlic to the pan. Cook until onions are soft, 8 minutes. Add lemon juice and zest, Worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce. Stir and reduce heat to simmer.
2. Bring stock to a boil in a pot with lid. Add dried fruit and couscous, stir then turn off heat and set lid in place. Let stand 5 minutes. Add nuts and herbs and toss with fork.
3. Pour the chili in bowls, and top with cous cous.

3 thoughts on “Moroccan Chili

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