In Lebanon, moghrabieh (the name for couscous in Lebanese) is generally a dish served at large gatherings of family and friends due to its extended cooking process. Lebanese Couscous simmers in the traditional combination of spices within this recipe giving the end product a deliciously fragrant flavor.

Prep time: 10 min

Cook time: 200 min

Total time: 210 min

Moghrabieh (Lebanese Couscous with Chicken and Lamb)
Copyright Recipe © 2014 Woodland Foods


Makes 4 to 6 servings


  1. Set large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over high heat and add vegetable oil. When oil shimmers, add chicken breasts, and brown well all over. Transfer to plate. Add lamb pieces, and brown well. Add to plate with chicken.

  2. Add pearl onions to pot, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer to bowl and pour off remaining fat from Dutch oven.

  3. Return chicken and lamb to Dutch oven, and add celery, carrots and onion, along with water. Bring to a boil, scraping up bits of browned meat from bottom of pot and skimming any foam that forms on surface of water.

  4. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low to maintain a simmer. Add bay leaves, cinnamon stick, anise, caraway and allspice, along with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Stir, cover and simmer for 1 hour.

  5. Use mesh strainer and/or tongs to transfer chicken to cutting board, leaving lamb to simmer in broth for another hour, or until tender.

  6. When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove skin and bones and discard. Cut meat into chunks for serving.

  7. When lamb is tender, transfer to cutting board and let cool slightly. Cut into smaller chunks for serving.

  8. Strain solids from broth, and transfer to smaller pot. Whisk in ground cinnamon and cumin. Check seasoning, and adjust with salt and pepper if desired. Hold over low heat.

  9. Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add Lebanese Couscous, and fry, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add 4 cups broth, reduce heat to low, and cook 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking and checking for doneness in final 5 minutes of cooking. Be sure to stop cooking and drain couscous once it reaches al dente. Transfer to serving platter.

  10. Add chickpeas and browned pearl onions to remaining broth in pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

  11. Using slotted spoon, remove chickpeas and pearl onions from broth, and add to cooked Lebanese Couscous. Arrange pieces of chicken and lamb on top of couscous.

  12. Serve with chopped cilantro, lemon wedges and remaining broth, traditionally spooned over dish as sauce.