This is a one-pot meal that’s essentially a hug in a bowl—warm, comforting, aromatic. The chicken is falling off the bone soft, the butternut squash and chickpeas make it as hearty as can be, and the couscous soaks up all the delicious liquid. Best of all, there’s not a whole lot of work involved (and even less if you buy pre-cut squash).


  • 1 lb (450 grams) onions
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ - ½ tsp turmeric
  • Saffron, a small pinch (approx 10-12 threads)
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 4 chicken drumsticks
  • 1 butternut squash (approx 1 ½ lbs / 680 grams)
  • 1 can chickpeas (15-oz / 425 grams)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Water
  • 2 cups Moroccan couscous


  1. Use a wide pot that conducts heat well.
  2. Cut the onions into quarter rounds and cook in the oil, 1 cup water, turmeric, salt, pepper, and saffron for 20-30 minutes, until soft but not dark. Simmer, do not saute.
  3. Place the chicken pieces on top of the onions and add another cup of water, some more salt and pepper. Cover and cook over medium for 45 minutes.
  4. Add the butternut squash, chickpeas, some more salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for another hour, until everything is soft. Remove from the fire so it doesn’t overcook.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  6. Pour the couscous into a large bowl with some salt and garlic powder. Boil 2 ¼ cups water and pour over the couscous. Cover tightly for five minutes, then fluff with a fork to separate the grains (if you wait too long, it will clump together and be hard to fluff).
  7. Serve the chicken and squash over the couscous, to soak up all the liquid.
  8. Reheats well from the fridge. Does not freeze well.

Serves: 6