Grandma Pael’s Shabbat Meal (Moroccan)


The late Len Robinson, a dear friend, mensch, artist, foodie, and bon vivant, shared this recipe in Temple Emanuel’s last community cookbook, Temptations, published in 1996. I will always cherish his collection of Moroccan cookbooks he gave me before he passed. 

Couscous Ingredients

  • 2 boxes of couscous
  • 3 c chicken broth
  • Bunch of parsley, tied
  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1 T Hungarian paprika

Vegetable combination to mix and match:

  • 1 onion
  • 2 zucchini
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 2 turnips and sweet potatoes

Game Hen ingredients

  • 1 t black pepper
  • 1 T Hungarian paprika
  • ¼ t cumin
  • 1 t salt
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t flour
  • 2 c water
  • 3-4 game hens


In a steamer, add chicken broth with a bunch of parsley (tied). Add black pepper, Hungarian paprika, and cut up vegetables in the steamer basket and steam from 5-15 minutes, however texture you want your vegetables. Use the broth to prepare the boxed couscous (not what Grandma did, but a lot easier). Arrange the couscous on a plate, then top with the steamed vegetables and game hens.

For the game hens, combine the black pepper, Hungarian paprika, cumin, salt, bay leaves, garlic, flour, and water in a large sauce pan. Add 3-4 game hens and cook over medium heat 35-40 minutes. Remove hens and dry on paper towels. Cook sauce over high heat to reduce – thick enough to lightly coat a spoon. Heat 1 c vegetable oil in a deep-sided skillet and brown hens on all sides until crisp. Arrange on top of couscous platter and cover with paprika sauce.

Submitted by Evan Rossio