Moroccan Grilled Chicken with Pomegranate Couscous

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Grilled chicken next to couscous with pomegranate seeds and green arugula on a white plate

This moroccan grilled chicken recipe is so easy to make, it’s perfect for summer weeknight meal. Or you can use a grill pan and make this any time of the year! The spiced couscous cooks in just 10 minutes and is filled with toasted sunflower seeds for a bit of nuttiness, with fresh pomegranate arils that provide a sweet, tart burst of flavor.

MSG in Chicken

Reading the Heal Your Headache book really opened my eyes to many things that I never used to think about, particularly when it comes to MSG. I find it interesting that so many people who assume they’re eating healthy, never fully look into what they are actually buying. I have to laugh now when I see some of these health bloggers pushing products that contain many of the hidden names for MSG. You will see many conflicting verdicts when you dive deeper, which makes me wonder how well it’s truly been studied. There was also a time when people thought smoking was healthy! While it’s clearly not a problem for everyone, many studies have shown it increases symptoms in those with migraine and fibromyalgia.

Reading Labels on Raw Chicken

One of the most important things I learned was to actually look at labels. Were there ingredients I couldn’t pronounce? You’d be surprised to find that this can happen with your raw, “fresh” foods too, including chicken. There was an article by the Washington Post that came out in 2007 called “Crying Foul in the Debate Over ‘Natural’ Chicken”. It exposed Tyson and Pilgrim’s Pride for injecting their chickens that they claimed were “all natural” with a solution that added up to 15% of their weight. The solution was made up of salt, seaweed, and chicken broth, which the Agricultural Department approved as being natural ingredients. Therefore they were able to label their chickens as “all natural” even with this injected solution. Some of these injections included ingredients like carrageenan, which acts like MSG in the system of someone who is sensitive to it.

Why Buy Air Chilled Chicken?

I am sure you’ve seen many chickens labeled “air chilled”, and I’ve been told by the butcher that they find these words more important than “organic” these days. The USDA requires chickens to be cooled to a certain temperature for food safety. Many large corporations use the same containers filled with chlorinated water to chill their chickens, promoting cross-contamination and the absorption of water into the meat. Air-chilled chickens are separated and passed by a track through different chambers of cooled air. It takes longer than a water bath, causing it to be more expensive all around. Many believe it’s worth the extra cost because
1. you’re not getting extra water in your meat
2. it’s better for the flavor as you are truly getting an all-natural chicken.

I encourage you to look closely at what you’re buying and try out “air-chilled’ chicken sometime. I think you’ll notice a large difference in the flavor and maybe even feel better overall.

This recipe is a simple, healthy weeknight dinner that takes about 30 minutes total. I have a cast iron grill pan that I love to use when it’s too cold to grill, but you can use whatever you like best. For the salad, I mixed arugula or “rocket salad” with really good olive oil I got from Spain, some kosher salt, and freshly cracked pepper. If you use really good olive oil, you don’t need much else. 

For more easy chicken recipes check out:

Honey Garlic Chicken
Instant Pot Chicken Tinga Tacos
Chicken Sausage, Arugula, and Potato Salad

Grilled chicken next to couscous with pomegranate seeds and green arugula on a white plate

Moroccan Chicken
Prep Time
2 hrs
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 10 mins

An easy and super flavorful meal of simply grilled chicken marinated in Moroccan spices and accompanied with couscous that's filled with pomegranate seeds. The chicken by itself is gluten free.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Moroccan
Keyword: Cous cous, Grilled Chicken, Moroccan Chicken, Pomegranate
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 202 kcal
Author: The Dizzy Cook
  • 1-3/4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts pounded to 3/4in thickness I just used thin sliced
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt & pepper
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2-1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1-1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  1. Place all the ingredients in a large ziploc bag or dish and marinate at least 30 minutes to an hour. 

  2. Brush grill pan with olive oil and heat to med-high heat. Add marinated chicken and sear on first side 4 minutes. Flip and sear on other side 3-4 minutes (mine took 3). The internal temperature should be at least 165 degrees. Wrap in tin foil until you're ready to serve. 

Nutrition Facts
Moroccan Chicken
Amount Per Serving
Calories 202 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Cholesterol 18mg6%
Sodium 34mg1%
Potassium 116mg3%
Carbohydrates 3g1%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 6g12%
Vitamin A 246IU5%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 3mg0%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Pomegranate Couscous
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins

Course: Side Dish
Servings: 4 people
  • 2 tbsp butter I used kerrygold
  • 1 large shallot chopped
  • 1 cup HYH safe vegetable or chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup couscous (NOT Israeli couscous) I used Trader Joe's Whole Wheat but Bob's Red Mill has a good "golden" couscous too
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds I probably added 1/2 cup 🙂
  • 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley chopped
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt and pepper
  1. In a large, deep pan (that has a lid) melt butter and sauté shallot for 1 minute. Add stock and bring to a simmer. 

  2. Remove the pan from the heat and add couscous. Cover with the lid and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Remove lid and fluff cous cous with a fork. Add pomegranate seeds, paprika, sunflower seeds, and parsley. Season to taste. 

Alicia was diagnosed with Chronic Vestibular Migraine in 2016 and has been able to successfully manage her symptoms through medication, supplements, lifestyle changes, and the Heal Your Headache Diet by Dr. David Buchholz from Johns Hopkins. She's the owner of The Dizzy Cook.


  1. Beth

    I gave up Chicken for two weeks and now I know why it was effecting me! Where you do you buy air chilled chicken?


    1. Alicia

      I buy mine at Central Market in Texas, but you can also find it at Whole Foods. In fact, I think most stores carry it now. It’s not really necessary for it to be air chilled for it to be migraine safe, I just find that those kinds don’t have the injected solutions!


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chicken breasts in a pan with cream sauce and tomatoes in a small white dish

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