Recently I’ve taken fancy to couscous. It’s extremely easy to prepare and goes well with most gravies and meats. For those of you who don’t know what it is, here is a little something:
- It’s a traditional Berber dish of steamed semolina
- Couscous is prepared by rolling moist semolina into small pellets and passing through a sieve. To keep the pellets intact, it is dusted with flour and dried.
- It’s a staple food in North Africa and eaten like we eat rice
I decided to cook the meat (chicken) Jamie Oliver style and serve it on a bed of warm couscous and crunchy onion salad. On cooking shows I’ve seen tagine gravies being topped on large plates of couscous and it just soaked up all the delicious juices from the meat. It looks absolutely divine.
For this recipe all you need is one frying pan and a sheet of baking paper for the chicken, one large glass bowl for the couscous and one small bowl for the salad. Less washing up and you have a hearty meal ready. Also, it takes only 15 minutes to cook.
Fennel Rosemary Chicken with Ginger Couscous
Chicken breasts – 2, clean and pat dry
Rosemary – 2 tsp
Fennel seeds – 2 tsp
Zest of one lemon
Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Couscous – 2 cups
Ginger powder –
Onions – 2, sliced
Green olives – 10 to 12, crushed
Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp
Salt & pepper
Water – 4 cups, boiling hot
First take a glass bowl and add the couscous with ginger powder and a little salt. Pour boiling hot water and stir lightly before covering it either with cling film or a plate to seal in the heat. Keep it aside and start working on the chicken. The couscous will soak up the water and get ready in about 10 to 15 minutes.
On the baking paper, lay out the chicken breast and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the rosemary, fennel seeds, coriander powder and chilli powder zest of one lemon and massage the chicken so that the spices stick to the meat. Once coated, cover the chicken with another baking paper and beat it with a rolling pin. This will tenderize the meat and force all the beautiful flavours deep into the chicken.
In a frying pan, drizzle a bit of olive oil. To the hot pan add the chicken and sear it on both sides. It will need about 3 to 4 minutes on each side depending how thin the chicken is. When it is cooked, place it on your chopping board and cut into strips. By now the couscous will be ready so using a fork, fluff up the couscous and lay it out on a plate. Pile on the chicken. Quickly mix up sliced onions with olives, salt, pepper and lemon juice and piled that on top of the chicken. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.