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Moghrabieh is a traditional Lebanese dish of wheat semolina dough pearls, chick peas, onions, and chicken (or beef) in a spiced broth.
Moghrabieh literally translates to “from Morocco.” Moghrabieh is both the name of the dough pearls as well as the name of the final dish. The Moghrabieh pearls are dry, similar to pasta, and are boiled for 15-20 minutes until they are tender. They are sometimes known as “Lebanese couscous” since they resemble couscous in texture and shape, just larger.
- 1 whole Chicken 2-3lb.
- 2 cups Dry Moghrabieh
- 1 can Chick Peas 15.5oz
- 2 cups Pearl Onions
- 2 tb. Vegetable Oil
- 2 tb. Butter
- 2 tsp. Caraway
- 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
- 1 tsp. 7 Spices
- 1 tsp. Ground Cumin
- 2 tsp. Salt
- ½ tsp. Black Pepper
- 8 cups Water
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 tsp. Whole Cloves
- 1 tsp. Salt
- ½ tsp. Black Pepper
Pat the chicken pieces dry using a paper towel. Season with 1 tsp. of salt and a pinch of 7 spices. In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat up 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Place the chicken skin side down and sear for 4 minutes until brown and crispy. Flip the chicken over and sear the other side for 4 minutes as well.
Pour 6-8 cups of water over the chicken until fully covered (depending on size of chicken and pot) and add cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cloves, salt and black pepper. Cook for 30 minutes on medium-high heat and skim any fat that rise to the top.
Peel the small pearl onions and add them to the chicken and broth. Cook for 15 minutes with the chicken.
Prepare your spice mix by combining the caraway, cinnamon, 7 spices, cumin and black pepper.
Drain the chickpeas from their liquid and rinse with water. Add the drained chickpeas to the pot along with the chicken and onions. Add about ¾ of the spice mix and mix well. Let simmer for 10 minutes. Season with a teaspoon of salt or as needed.
Boil a pot of water. Add the dry moghrabieh and cook until tender, about 15-20 minutes. Drain the water completely from the pot and add the butter and leftover spice mix. On low-medium heat, sauté the boiled moghrabieh for a few minutes. Add a few ladles of the fresh broth to the moghrabieh and let simmer on low heat for about 7-10 minutes letting the moghrabieh pearls absorb all the flavor.
Serve the moghrabieh by combining the moghrabieh pearls with a couple ladles of the broth and fixings. Enjoy!