Enjoy this hearty Lebanese Moghrabieh recipe that will fill your belly and warm you up all winter long. Similar to a chicken and dumplings dish with Mediterranean spices and flavors.
One of the best meals to make during the cold months is this delicious Moghrabieh recipe. This is one my mom learned how to make, among many others, from my Lebanese grandmother.
Similar to my late mother-in-law's hearty chicken pot pie recipe, this one is also a hearty soup-like stew made with chicken and dough. However, the dough in this recipe is a specific ingredient called Moghrabieh and the seasonings are Middle Eastern flavors.
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What is Moghrabieh?
Moghrabieh is the name of a Lebanese dough ball (shown above) sometimes referred to as Lebanese couscous and it's also the name of this tasty chicken stew. The dough balls have a similar texture to pasta and taste similar to couscous.
How to Make Moghrabieh
Sauté sliced onions and traditional spices such as ground cinnamon, caraway, and paprika.
Next, you brown chicken pieces. You need to use bone-in skin-on chicken.
Then you remove the chicken to cool and add broth to the onion mixture.
Meanwhile, you also are cooking the Moghrabieh balls in a separate pot just like pasta.
Once the chicken has cooled remove the meat from the skin and bones and return it to the broth and add in a can of chickpeas.
Serve it by placing some of the dough balls in a bowl and ladle some of the chicken and broth mixture over top.
Alternatives and Substitutions
- I like to pick the chicken meat and add it back to the broth but traditionally the chicken pieces including breasts and legs are served on the side and you add it to your bowl.
- You could use rotisserie chicken in a pinch. I do think you will lose a little of the flavor but it would still be good.
- Moghrabieh can be found in Middle Eastern markets and you can buy moghrabieh online. However, you can also substitute Israeli pearl couscous if you can find it. I see pearl couscous in my grocery store all the time.
- Many people use additional spices such as allspice, coriander, cumin, and cloves. You can experiment to see what spices you prefer.
The moghrabieh balls remind me of gnocchi as they are dense and really fill you up. The entire dish is really fragrant and warm. Perfect for the wintertime but you might want to make it all year long.
- 4 chicken thighs - bone in and skin on (approx. 1 pound)
- 2 cups of Moghrabieh balls
- 1-2 large onions sliced (yellow or white)
- 1 can of chickpeas, drained
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon caraway seeds or ground caraway
- 1 quart of chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Saute sliced onions in olive oil in a large deep skillet.
- Add caraway, cinnamon, paprika, salt, and pepper.
- Add chicken skin side down and brown on both sides, about 5 minutes on medium-high heat.
- Remove chicken to a plate to cool.
- Meanwhile, boil moghrabieh balls in salted water for about 20 minutes or until tender similar to spaghetti. Drain.
- Next, add chicken broth to the pan and scrape up all the brown bits from the spices and chicken.
- Add chickpeas to the pan.
- Pull apart chicken meat and add to the pan. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes to cook through.
- Serve by scooping some of the cooked moghrabieh into a bowl and then ladle some of the broth and chicken mixture over top
If you want to make this for a large crowd you can include chicken breasts and legs and brown them in batches.
You can also serve the meal by not removing the chicken meat from the bones, but serving it in pieces on a plate and letting people take a piece that they want to add to their bowl.
You can also substitute rotisserie chicken instead of browning pieces of chicken for a quick meal.
You can also substitute pearled Israeli couscous for the moghrabieh balls.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 221Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 709mgCarbohydrates: 9gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 18g
Nutritional information for the recipe is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.