Saturday, December 27, 2008

Moroccan Couscous with chicken

A super-healthy Moroccan Couscous with chicken dish.

Prep Time: 30 minutes or less | Cook Time: 30 minutes or less | Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken thighs, skinned
  • A pinch of saffron (or alternatively 1 tsp of turmeric)
  • Half a chicken stock cube
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion
  • Half a red (or green or whatever) bell pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp mild chili powder (or more if you like it spicy)
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 100g of couscous
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preparation:
  1. Crumble the half a stock cube into a measuring jug and add the saffron (or turmeric).
  2. Pour in 300ml/half a pint of boiling water and leave to one side.
  3. Peel and finely chop the onions and garlic, and de-seed and chop the bell pepper into roughly 1 inch squares.
  4. Don't forget the easiest way to peel the garlic is to place your knife flat on the clove and smack it (not too hard) with the base of your palm.
  5. Skin the chicken thighs if they are not already, and season them with the salt and pepper. Wash your hands after handling raw chicken!
  6. Heat the olive oil over a medium-low heat in a large frying pan or saucepan. Add the chicken thighs, being careful of spitting oil. You might want to wear an oven glove to avoid getting burnt by the oil.
  7. Cook the chicken for 5-10 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden brown.
  8. Add the onions, garlic, and bell pepper.
  9. Cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent.
  10. Add the cinnamon, chili powder, chicken stock, and honey.
  11. Bring to a simmer (i.e. barely boiling).
  12. cover and cook for 15 minutes.
  13. While the chicken is cooking, make your couscous (about 100g of the dried stuff, i.e. roughly enough for 2 people) according to the instructions on the packet, and leave in a covered saucepan/bowl to keep warm (not over heat, though).
  14. Once the chicken is cooked (check inside to see if the juices are clear, if so the chicken is done).
  15. Remove the thighs from the pan and keep warm. I put them in with the couscous.
  16. Raise the heat under the frying pan to boil the sauce, and reduce it by about a 1/3. This will take 4-5 minutes and you should notice the sauce become thicker and more syrupy.
  17. Mix the lemon juice into the sauce, and serve.

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