Monday, January 10, 2011

Megan's Moroccan Birthday dinner

I decided to post the recipes from my birthday dinner, mostly so I wouldn't forget the chicken recipe since I kind of made it up.

Couscous Stuffed Moroccan Chicken - Ferakh Maamer (kind of)

1 10 oz. package Near East original plain couscous, prepared
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup sliced almonds
6 chicken breasts

3/4 cup honey
3/4 cup water
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup finely diced or grated onion
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp freshly grated ginger
2 tsp cinnamon

Stir raisins and almonds into prepared couscous.  Cut open chicken breasts to make a pouch.  Stuff with couscous.  Place stuffed chicken breasts in a 9x13 pan. 

In a saucepan, combine honey, water, and oil. Stir over medium heat to combine.  Add onion, garlic, ginger, and cinnamon.  Add more of the onion, spices, etc. to taste.  If more sauce is needed, add more ingredients in similar ratios.  Pour sauce over chicken (there should be enough that the chicken is sitting in a shallow layer of the sauce).  Cover with foil and bake in the oven at 350 for about 40 minutes, removing the foil after about 25 minutes.


1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough, thawed
1 pound chopped pecans
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup butter
1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey

Preheat oven to 350.  Butter bottom and sides of a 9x13 pan.  Melt the rest of the butter.

Mix pecans with cinnamon and set aside.  Unroll phyllo dough.  If it is one long roll, cut in half to fit the 9x13 pan.  If it is two smaller rolls, you may need to trim the ends to fit the pan.  Cover the dough with a damp cloth to keep it from drying out as you work.

Place two sheets of dough in the bottom of the pan, and brush with melted butter.  Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered in the bottom.  Sprinkle 2-3 Tbsp of the nut mixture on top.  Layer 2 more sheets of dough, brush with butter, and sprinkle with nuts.  Continue layering until you have 6-8 sheets left.  The last 6-8 sheets should be brushed with butter every two sheets like the bottom layers.

Using a sharp knife, cut into diamond or square shapes all the way through the bottom layers.  Bake for about 50 minutes, until it is golden and crisp.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce by combining water and sugar in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, until sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey.  Simmer about 20 minutes.

Spoon sauce over baklava as soon as it comes out of the oven.  Let cool, and serve.  You can use cupcake liners to serve.  Do not cover left overs to prevent from getting soggy.

adapted from

One other suggestion - if you want the middle to be crispier, with more dough, try doing 3-4 layers of dough between layers of nuts instead of 2.  I haven't tried it that way yet, but it seems like it would be good!

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