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Speedy Moroccan Chicken Couscous

SPEEDY MOROCCAN CHICKEN COUSCOUS

For a speedy mid-week dinner this is a real treat. It’s healthy yet filling and perfect for those times when you are really limited on time.

Serves 2

2 tsp Harissa paste

6 dried ready-to-eat apricots, halved

150ml very hot chicken stock

150g couscous

2 x roast chicken breasts fillets (from the supermarket)

4 spring onions, finely sliced (including the green part)

Handful pitted green olives (optional)

2 tbsp olive oil

Juice of ½ lemon

Small handful of chopped coriander

2 tbsp flaked toasted almonds

50g pomegranate seeds (optional)

Small pot of natural yoghurt

Small bunch of mint

Stir the harissa paste and apricots into the hot stock and pour over the couscous in a bowl. Stir and cover with cling film. Leave for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile remove the skin from the chicken and tear the meat into strips.

Once the couscous has been left for 5 minutes, fluff up with a fork and stir in the chicken, spring onions, olives (if using) olive oil, lemon juice and coriander. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon into bowls or plates. Scatter over the almonds and pomegranate seeds, if using.

Mix together the yoghurt and mint and serve separately to spoon over.

Healthy Midweek Stir-fry

CHICKEN, GINGER AND PINEAPPLE STIR-FRY

You can’t beat a simple stir-fry midweek and this is full of flavour and goodness.

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

2tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil

4 small chicken breasts, cut into strips

2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

1 small ripe pineapple, peeled and cut into 2-3cm (about 1in) pieces

25g (1oz) root ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

250g punnet of cherry tomatoes, halved

200g (7oz) beansprouts

1 bunch of spring onions, sliced into 3-4cm (1¼-1½in) pieces

2tbsp oyster sauce

2tbsp caster sugar

75ml (2½fl oz) chicken stock

Small bunch of coriander, roughly chopped

Cooked wholewheat noodles tossed in a little sesame oil or Thai rice, to serve

METHOD

Heat a wok over a high heat and add 1tbsp of the oil. Season the chicken with a little salt and pepper and stir-fry with the garlic for 3-4 minutes until it has browned. Remove from the wok and keep warm.

Add the remaining 1tbsp of oil to the wok and add the pineapple, ginger, tomatoes, beansprouts, spring onions, oyster sauce and sugar. Stir fry for about 1 minute before adding the stock.

Providing you still have the wok over a high heat, it should instantly come to the boil.

Cook for about 3 minutes until the sauce is becoming thick and sticky. Return the chicken to the pan along with the coriander.

Toss to combine and serve with the noodles or rice.

PS…

Strips of pork or raw tiger prawns can be used instead of the chicken, simply cook as above.

Photography, thanks to Gareth Morgans.

Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Salad

Lots of crunchy fresh vegetables, juicy shredded chicken and rice noodles tossed together with a lime and chilli dressing make a megahealthy, refreshing lunch. The tangy dressing is fat-free and the veggies certainly give you a generous boost towards your five-a-day. Pack up the salad in a box and tuck into it with chopsticks if you want to be really authentic (or use pencils if you’re eating at your desk!).

serves two

takes about 20 to 25 minutes to make

for the salad

500ml water or chicken stock

2 skinless chicken breasts

125g thin rice noodles

1?4 Chinese leaf/cabbage, finely shredded

1 carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks

1?4 cucumber, cut into matchsticks

4 spring onions, sliced into thin strips

a small handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped

a small handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped

50–100g roasted unsalted peanuts, chopped

for the dressing

2 tablespoons lime juice

1 teaspoon caster sugar

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 long red chilli (about the size

of your index finger),

deseeded and finely sliced

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Chicken & Apricot Tagine

In Morocco, they do a lot of belly-dancing. After you’ve tasted this little number, you’ll understand why – it’s delicious.

Serves 12

About 25 minutes to prepare and 2½ hours cooking

approx. 2kg skinless and boneless chicken, made up of a combination of thigh and breast

4 onions, chopped

8 cloves of garlic, crushed

100g fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

4 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

2 large pinches of saffron

2 tablespoons harissa paste

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 litres chicken stock

700g dried apricots

8 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped

200g pitted green olives, halved

200g shelled unsalted pistachio nuts

2 bunches of coriander, chopped Read more

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