Israeli couscous with apricots, lemon and chicken
Weeknight cooking for my partner and I is frequently motivated by convenience. Not microwavable, TV dinner convenience, but simple dishes using quality ingredients that pack plenty of flavour. I like dishes I can create using things commonly found in my pantry, plus a few fresh veggies and herbs from the garden. A mix of sweet and tart apricots, sharp lemon and creamy pine nuts make this dish a real winner.
It really is super easy – the key is to prep the veggies while you leave the chicken to marinate for a few minutes. Then simply grill the chicken while you simmer the couscous, whack it all together and hey presto chicken dinner!
¼ tsp chilli flakes
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground paprika
½ tsp cinnamon
500g chicken tenderloins, trimmed and sliced in half lengthways
1 onion, diced
1 cup Israeli couscous
2 cups chicken stock, heated
½ cup dried apricots, diced – a mix of sweet and tart apricots is nice
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
Fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Finely grated zest and juice of one lemon
150g cherry tomatoes, halved
Unsweetened yoghurt to serve
1. Mix marinade ingredients together and massage into chicken pieces. Set aside while you prepare the other vegetables.
2. In a medium-sized saucepan, fry the onion in a little olive oil until soft. Add the couscous and apricot pieces and stir to coat. Fry for a minute or two, and then pour over the hot stock. Simmer for 10 -12 minutes, 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 mix through pine nuts, parsley, lemon zest and juice, and cherry tomatoes. Season to taste.
5. To serve create a bed of the couscous mix on each plate, top with chicken pieces and a good dollop of unsweetened yoghurt.