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Cumin and Lemon Roasted Root Vegetables and Couscous with Pan Roasted Chicken Thighs

To me, roasted root vegetables totally scream FALL! They're hearty and delicious (I feel like there should be a drinking game for every time I say "delicious"). And roasting them gives them the perfect sweetness/finish. I l-o-v-e me some roasted root vegetables. I had intended this recipe to have beets, but my spacey brain forgot them and I had to settle for potatoes instead. I texted some of my friends/neighbors to see if they had any, sadly (and expectedly) they did not. (Note to self: get new friends.) Although I would in no way shape or form classify this dish as Moroccan, the cumin and cinnamon flavors are reminiscent of the region. My husband was pleased, I was pleased, my tummy and my waist line were please. And if you invest your time to cook this dish, hopefully you will be too. And if you're not, try to refrain from hunting me down to tell me I was wrong. In the end, it will just hurt my feelings and probably not be worth the airfare and energy that you invested.


For the Roasted Root Vegetables:

2 parsnips

5 oz of baby carrots (it’s what I had, you could use 2-4 regular carrots)

2 red potatoes (or beets if you would prefer, I would)

1 lemon (juiced)

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp cumin seed

2 tsp ground cumin seed

2 tsp coriander

2 tsp salt

2 tsp pepper

Cut up your vegetables into 1/2 inch chunks or strips. In a mixing bowl, toss them with pretty much everything listed above. Okay, toss them with everything listed above. Cook them for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. (If you haven’t invested in silicone baking mats by now, you probably should. They're pretty great!)

For the Couscous:

1 box couscous

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup water

1 lemon (juiced)

2 tsp cumin seed

2 tsp ground cumin seed

1 tsp coriander

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

2-3 tbsp olive oil or butter

1/2 cup minced parsley

Cook your couscous according to the instructions on the package. I like to cook mine in half broth, half water. (You could do all broth, or all water. But the broth gets absorbed by the couscous and infuses it with flavor.) Add the olive oil /butter and the spices while it is being cooked. When the couscous has finished cooking, add the chopped up parsley.

For the Chicken Thighs:

4 boneless/skinless chicken thighs (+/- 1 or 2)

Sprinkling of: cinnamon, coriander, ground cumin seed, salt, onion powder

1/4 cup cut up parsley

flour (for dusting)

olive oil (for sautéing)

(Okay, so my grocer was out of boneless/skinless chicken thighs. I had to purchase bone in skin on. In a way this was a win/win. The skin is easily removed and the bone being in adds juiciness to the chicken. So which ever route you take, it’ll work out.) Lightly drizzle olive oil onto your chicken. Dust the chicken with the spices listed above. Then add the parsley. Make sure that it is cut up fairly fine, since you would like it to stay on the chicken. Press the parsley onto the chicken. Dust the chicken with flour and add it to your pan (already heated with a few tbsp of olive oil). Brown the chicken on both sides (about 3-4 minutes per side) and then transfer to the oven and cook at 350 degrees, until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. (For me, this was less than 5 minutes.)

A Few More Moving Parts/Putting It All Together:

mixed greens

1 lemon

olive oil


Lay down a bed of mixed greens. Juice one lemon, lightly drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with some salt. Add the couscous and then the roasted root vegetables. Top with chicken thighs and more parsley.


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