Couscous T’Fayah with Cornish Hen

Submitted by: Rafih Benjelloun

Heady Turkish flavors compliment game hens, couscous and garbanzos.



  • 1 pound durhum wheat couscous
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 2 pounds Cornish game hens, cut in large pieces
  • Olive oil; as needed
  • 2 pounds onions, julienne and divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups California raisins
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups chickpeas; soaked overnight, precooked or canned
  • 1 cup honey or sugar
  • Toasted almonds; for garnish
  • Powdered sugar; for garnish
  • Ground cinnamon; for garnish


Moisten couscous with 1-1/2 cups water and gently rub between hands to remove lumps; let stand for 30 minutes. Then, place couscous in top of couscousiére or steamer. Fill bottom with water and bring to a boil; steam couscous while preparing game hens.

Baste pieces of hens and sauté in olive oil with half the onions until browned; reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add ginger, turmeric, pepper and salt, remaining onions, raisins, and 1-1/2 cups water; simmer for 10 minutes more. Add cinnamon and chickpeas; continue to simmer until hens are done. Remove pieces of hens and continue to simmer mixture, slowly, adding more cinnamon and salt to taste and water as needed to prevent drying. After about 10 minutes, add honey and stir. Add more water, if needed, and simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes or until mixture is reduced. Return pieces of hens to pan and reheat over medium heat.

To serve, mound couscous onto large platter and arrange pieces of hens in center. Spoon sauce over to form crown. Garnish with toasted almonds and dust with powdered sugar and cinnamon.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving

Calories 600 (29% from fat); Total Fat 19g (sat 4g, mono 10g, poly 4g, trans 0g ); Cholesterol 100mg; Protein 25g; Carbohydrate 84g; (Dietary Fiber 7g; Sugars 45g; ); Iron 3mg; Sodium 260mg; Calcium 68mg; Potassium 637mg

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