Friday, 7 February 2014

Renew the Menu: Moroccan Chicken with Israeli Couscous salad

Whilst waiting at the supermarket deli this week my eyes were drawn to a pearl couscous salad. I’m not a huge fan of normal couscous but the roe like balls of the Israeli couscous, as it’s also known, looked very appealing.
Israeli (Pearl) couscous is actually made of wheat so not an option for those with wheat intolerances but makes a nice change to rice or other pastas.
As always the best quality salad ingredients really take a salad from ok to amazing. I was lucky enough to get a bag of lovely home-grown baby tomatoes and some home-grown garlic just before I made this which I think just made this salad taste even better!

There is no time pressures here as it can be served warm or cold, any leftovers would make a great lunch the next day (if there is any!). Our family (of 2 adults and 2 toddlers) ate all of the salad with a few pieces of chicken leftover so change the chicken or couscous quantities to suit.

Moroccan Chicken with Israeli couscous salad


  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ tbsp rice malt syrup (or honey)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground paprika
  • Sprinkle of chilli powder  
  • 500g free range chicken breasts cut into tenderloin size pieces

Israeli Couscous Salad

  • Olive oil
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 2 cups hot chicken stock
  • ¼ cup slivered almonds (or pine nuts), toasted
  • 3 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ cup currants

1. Mix marinade ingredients together and massage into chicken pieces. Set aside.

2. In a medium-sized saucepan, fry the onion in a little olive oil until soft. Add the couscous and stir to coat. Fry for two minutes before adding hot stock.

3. Simmer for 10 -12 minutes, stirring occasionally until al dente.

3. While the couscous is cooking, heat a large, heavy-based frying pan and cook chicken pieces.

4. Once cooked, remove couscous from heat and transfer to a bowl. Refridgerate couscous for as long as it takes to cook the chicken and cut into slices.
5. Remove from fridge (the couscous doesn’t have to be cold but I think tastes better when it’s warm not hot) and mix through nuts, parsley, lemon juice, currants and cherry tomatoes. Season to taste.
6. Lay a bed of couscous and add sliced chicken pieces. Voila!

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