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The DX Exclusive Recipe: Moroccan Chicken

Reduced-carb Moroccan chicken with couscous and squash pilaf

Adding yellow squash to couscous is a delicious way to reduce the carbs per serving of this side dish, and the squash adds vibrant color and crisp texture to the pilaf. If you wish, you can use zucchini instead of yellow squash, and basil or cilantro instead of parsley, in this versatile recipe.


½ teaspoon ground cumin

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon salt

⅛ teaspoon ground cinnamon

⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper


4 (4-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts

4 teaspoons olive oil, divided

1 medium yellow squash, diced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

¾ cup whole-wheat couscous

2 scallions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Grated zest and juice of 1 small lemon

Lemon wedges

1. To make the spice blend, stir together the cumin, ginger, salt, cinnamon, black pepper, and cayenne in a small bowl.

2. To make the chicken, place the chicken on a plate and sprinkle on all sides with ½ teaspoon of the spice mixture.

3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons of the oil and tilt the skillet to coat the bottom. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until the juices run clear, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a clean plate and cover to keep warm.

4. To make the pilaf, add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the same skillet and tilt the skillet to coat the bottom. Add the squash and garlic, and cook, stirring often, until the squash begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Stir in the remaining spice mixture. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the couscous and scallions. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and stir in the parsley, lemon zest, and lemon juice, and any accumulated juices from the chicken. Serve the chicken with the pilaf and lemon wedges.

Serves 4

Each serving (1 chicken breast and ¾ cup pilaf): 322 calories, 32 g carbohydrate, 8 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 67 mg cholesterol, 6 g fiber, 32 g protein, 347 mg sodium

Carbohydrate choices: 2

Exchanges*: 3 lean meat, 2 starch, 1 fat

*Ask your diabetes care team about carbohydrate exchanges; you can read more about carb exchanges here.

Jackie Mills is a registered dietitian who develops recipes for such national magazines as Cooking Light and Family Circle, as well as for books such as the American Medical Association Type 2 Diabetes Cookbook. She was formerly the food editor at Redbook magazine. Mills is a paid contributor for The DX. All opinions contained in this article reflect those of the contributor, and not of Sanofi US, its employees, agencies, or affiliates.

© 2013 The DX: The Diabetes Experience

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