Couscous with Lamb Stew & Grilled Meats (Couscous Royale)

Couscous Royale is the Parisian version of the traditional Moroccan dish- but on steroids. Much like the Dutch rijsttafel (“rice-table”), in an attempt to show the full breadth exciting cuisines from foreign lands, the French created a combination of dishes that showed off the “best of” that cuisine. The French achieved this feat in this one dish.

Couscous Royale Moroccan Couscous with Lamb Stew & Grilled Meat

Couscous Royale- Moroccan Couscous with Lamb Stew & Grilled Meat

This Moroccan feast in-one-dish is perfect for a large dinner party. It highlights some of the best of Moroccan cuisine- delicate meatballs, luscious vegetable and lamb stews, spicy grilled merguez sausage and, of course, couscous. It's a bit of a project but most of the dish's components can be done well in advance. This recipe has been adapted from the version originally printed in the November 2012 issue of Saveur.
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Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: African, Morocco, North Africa, Parisian
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Marinating: 1 hour
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Servings: 12
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Large pot or Dutch Oven
  • Large bowl
  • Sealable plastic freezer bag
  • Slotted spoon
  • Metal skewers or soaked wood skewers
  • Medium saucepan
  • Grill or heavy grill pan


Lamb Stew

  • cup Olive oil
  • ½ cup All-purpose flour
  • 4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 medium Onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 ribs Celery, chopped
  • 2 medium Carrots, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 1 small Red chilis
  • 1 medium Turnip, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 medium Zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ cup Golden raisins (Sub: black raisins or prunes)
  • 2 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • ¼ tsp Saffron, crushed
  • ½ tsp Ground ginger
  • 2 sticks Cinnamon
  • 2 large Bay Leaves
  • 4 cup Chicken stock
  • 15 oz Can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed (Sub: canned tomato sauce or diced tomatoes)
  • 1 cup Dried chickpeas, soaked overnight (Sub: 1 can of chickpeas)
  • 1 small Cabbage, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch Parsley, chopped
  • 1 large Lemon, juiced


  • 1 lb Ground lamb
  • tbsp Ground cumin
  • tbsp Paprika
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 cup Cilantro, chopped
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 tsp Each: Kosher salt and black pepper

Marinated Meats

  • 8 Baby lamb chops (optional)
  • 1 lb Chicken thighs, boneless and cut into 1×2-inch pieces
  • 8 long Merguez sausages (Sub: hot Italian sausage) Homemade merguez sausage recipe
  • 2 tsp Paprika
  • tbsp Cumin
  • ½ cup Cilantro, chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Each: Kosher salt and black pepper


  • 3 cups Fine-grain couscous
  • 4 tbsp Unsalted butter
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp Black pepper


Make Stew

  • Heat oil in an 8 quart saucepan or pot over medium-high heat. Place flour in a plastic freezer bag. Working in batches, season lamb with salt and pepper and shake in bag to cover in flour. Brown lamb cubes on all sides, about 6 minutes per batch. With a slotted spoon, transfer cooked meat to a large bowl.
  • Add onion, celery, carrot, chili pepper, turnip, and zucchini to pot over medium heat. Cook and stir until golden brown, about 12-15 minutes. Stir in tomato paste, paprika, ginger, saffron, cinnamon, bay leaves, and raisins. Cook for about 3-4 minutes until lightly caramelized. Return lamb to pot along with chickpeas, tomato, cabbage, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil then lower heat to medium. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until chickpeas are tender, about 2½ hours. Stir in parsley and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and return cover to keep warm.

Make Meatballs

  • Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix to combine. Pinch off enough meat to roll into 1-inch (2.5 cm) balls. Thread 3-4 balls onto skewers, place on a plate and keep chilled in refrigerator until ready to cook.

Marinate Meats

  • Combine all marinate ingredient in a seal top bag and shake to cover chicken thighs and, if using, lamb chops. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Make Couscous

  • Bring water, oil, and butter to a boil. in a large saucepan. Stir in couscous and season with salt and pepper. Cover and remove from heat. Let sit, untouched, until water is absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes. Fluff with a fork and set aside with cover back on.

Serve Couscous Royale

  • Preheat the grill to medium-hot, or heat a cast iron grill pan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Grill on both sides and in batches; chicken for 10 minutes, Meatballs for 15 minutes, lamb chops (if using) for 7 minutes, and 15-18 minutes for sausages.
  • To serve, Make a pyramid of couscous on a large serving platter. Decorate couscous with stew and meats. Conversely, serve couscous, meats, and stew in separate serving pieces on the table. Serve with harissa on the side.


Calories: 679kcal | Carbohydrates: 69g | Protein: 43g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 595mg | Potassium: 1220mg | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 2360IU | Vitamin C: 48mg | Calcium: 132mg | Iron: 7mg

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