Food & dining

Sunday Supper & More

North African spices flavor chicken stew, then soup

North African chicken stew.
Karoline Boehm Goodnick for the Boston Globe
North African chicken stew.

A heavy dose of spices gives North African cuisine its powerful bite and intense aromatics. Here we take full advantage of the spice cabinet with cumin, ginger, paprika, and turmeric in two warming dishes. For the first, create a stew similar to a Moroccan tagine, with chicken thighs and vegetables. Serve it over fluffy couscous or rice to soak up the robust cooking juices. Many North African dishes call for preserved lemons, but in a pinch, we use the rind and juice of an orange for citrus.

On the second night, the browned and braised chicken thighs flavor harira, a nourishing Moroccan soup made with and without meat. The many variations of the bowl range from a vegetarian lentil and chickpea soup to a lamb or chicken version. With an array of spices, chili pepper, and plenty of parsley and cilantro, the pot is loaded with flavor.

Shopping list

(For chicken stew, soup)


12 large bone-in chicken thighs
(4½ pounds), skin intact

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4 onions

3 carrots

4 cloves garlic

1 bunch fresh parsley


1 bunch fresh cilantro

1 hot chili pepper

1 orange

Salt and pepper

3 tablespoons olive oil


5 cups chicken stock

1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas

1 cup green lentils

1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon ground cumin

½ tablespoon ground ginger

½ tablespoon paprika

2 tablespoons turmeric

Molly Kravitz can be reached at molly