Here is another recipe from our Fresh & Fabulous Spring Cooking class at Sur la Table. The chicken is cut into bite-sized pieces and marinated in a blend of Mediterranean spices for a couple of hours. In the meantime, the couscous is prepared while the chicken is soaking up all that beautiful flavor. A preserved lemon is juiced and the rind is minced and added to a combination of parsley, mint, butter, currants, pistachios and salt. We used raisins in our recipe, but any sweet dried fruit would be delicious. Cook the couscous according to the package directions, then drain and add to the seasonings. Grill the chicken using skewers (or pan fry on the stove top) and serve warm on top of a bed of couscous. This would be a fantastic recipe to create on the grill and prepare tableside for your guests.
GRILLED CHICKEN WITH LEMON-PISTACHIO COUSCOUS (Serves 4)
Ingredients (Grilled Chicken)
- 1 T. toasted and ground cumin seeds
- 1 T. toasted and ground coriander seeds
- 2 t. paprika
- 1 t. ground cardamom
- 1/4 t. cayenne
- 1/4 t. cinnamon
- 1 t. sea salt, plus more as needed
- 1 t. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 T. minced garlic
- 2 T. fresh lemon juice
- 3 T. olive oil
- 1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts of thighs, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
- 16 10-inch bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 20 minutes
- 1 preserved lemon
- 2 T. finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 T. chiffonade of mint leaves
- 2 T. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup dried currants or raisins, soaked in hot water for ten minutes and drained
- 1/2 cup roasted unsalted pistachios, roughly chopped
- 3/4 t. fine sea salt, plus more as needed
- 1-1/2 cups plain dried Israeli (pearled) couscous
- Freshly ground black pepper
- In a medium bowl combine all spices, garlic, lemon juice and oil; whisk to combine. Add chicken and mix thoroughly to coat with marinade. Cover and marinate for at least 1 and up to 4 hours.
- Cut the preserved lemon into quarters. Scoop out the pulp and press it through a fine mesh strainer into a mixing bowl to extract the juices; discard the pulp and seeds. Mince the rind and add it to a large mixing bowl along with the parsley, mint, butter, currants, pistachios and salt. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil over high heat. Season the water generously with salt. Add the couscous and cook according to package directions. Once the couscous is cooked and drained well, transfer it to the bowl with the seasonings, tossing until ingredients are incorporated. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
- Heat a grill or grill pan to high heat. Remove skewers from water and pat dry. Thread chicken lengthwise onto each skewer. Season skewers lightly with salt and pepper. Grill skewers, turning over once, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- Spoon couscous onto the center of a warm serving platter, arrange skewers over the top and serve immediately.
~ from Sur la Table ~