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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Don't Say Never Trust A Skinny Cook: Harissa Chicken With Lemony Veg Couscous

I finished my exams the other day! Now I just have to forget the wordplays I used to remember my translation theorists' ideas (Venuti was interested in the visibility of translators, and Schleiermacher was all about moving the reader to the text and vice versa) as they all very helpfully (other than the poetry translators) matched their theories to their names. Sadly these exams have lead to me just cooking my failsafe recipes, like my easy tomato sauce and the delicious leek and bacon pasta bake (sadly neither with homemade pasta) so I had difficulty in finding time to test a new recipe for this series, until I flicked through the recipes I'd noted from this months foodie magazines and discovered one from Delicious. which uses harissa, a paste that I've been interested in using for a while but didn't know how. I have changed the recipe in places and opted for chicken rather than cod, as it was easier to get hold of in a hurry.

Harissa paste, or at least the one that I used (Belazu rose harissa bought from Waitrose), is a bit spicy (in a good way) but if you don't like spice then I would suggest using half the amount that I used and topping it up with olive oil. This recipe is for one person as Liam had an exam and didn't want this for lunch (I'm out for the evening) but is very easy to scale up.

Harissa chicken with lemony veg couscous recipe
Serves 1
Oven at 180˚
Takes 20-25 minutes to make
If you're vegetarian but eat fish then change the chicken stock to vegetable stock and use a piece of white fish, such as cod, instead of the chicken, and place it under a hot grill for 10-12 minutes, until cooked through.
If you want to add more vegetables then half a red pepper, finely diced, would work nicely - I wish I'd thought to add it to my lunch as I love red peppers!
If the chicken is ready a little before the couscous (mine was as I thought the couscous and veg would take only a couple of minutes - silly me) then just turn off the oven but leave the chicken in there.

1 skinless chicken breast
1tsp rose harissa paste
Sprinkle of breadcrumbs (about 10g)
½ small red onion
80g peas
1 small garlic clove, minced
50g couscous
80ml boiling chicken stock (or water)
Squeeze of lemon juice

Place the chicken on a baking tray and smear the harissa over the top of it.
Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the harissa so that they stick.
Place the chicken into a hot oven for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
Meanwhile, heat a splash/spray of oil (I commandeered a small fry light bottle, emptied it out and refilled it with a decent olive oil for easier use) in a frying pan.
Slice the half onion into thin strips and place in the frying pan (along with the diced pepper if you're using it), gently cooking until soft.
Whilst the onion is cooking, place the couscous in a bowl with the boiling stock and cover the bowl with clingfilm for 5-10 minutes until all the stock has absorbed.
Once the onions (and pepper) has cooked, add the garlic and peas to the pan to warm through.
To stop my couscous from getting cold and mix it through the veg, I took my non-stick frying pan off the heat and added the couscous to it, mixing well.
Squeeze some lemon juice over the couscous and stir it again before placing the couscous mix on a plate.
Take the chicken out of the oven and place on top of the couscous before tucking in.

Well, I'm off to my Zumba class now but I hope you enjoy and let me know in the comments what you think of the recipe!

1 comment:

  1. Hi there. Using your chicken and lemony cous cous to suit vegetarians and non veggie. Very useful!


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