Couscous with Harissa Chicken, Chargrilled Zucchini, and Crunchy Nutty Salad

by Melissa Goldstein
  • Ingredients
  • 8-10 free-range skinless chicken thighs, excess fat removed
  • for the marinade:
  • 4 tablespoons EVOO
  • juice and zest 1 large lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon harissa paste
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 garlic cloves, very finely minced
  • for the salad:
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 x 14 oz tinned chickpeas, drained
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup smoked almonds, chopped fine-medium
  • 2 zucchini, sliced very finely on a mandolin
  • 6 spring onions (scallions) finely sliced (including some green parts)
  • handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley; arugula and mint, finely chopped
  • sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
  • extras:
  • 2 cups couscous
  • 3 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons natural yogurt
  • EVOO and olive oil for cooking
(Serves 6) 1. To make the marinade: add all ingredients into a mixing bowl and whisk well to combine, season with a good pinch of crushed sea salt flakes and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. 2. Add the trimmed chicken thighs, coating thoroughly in the liquid (you might want to wear latex gloves for this part, as the harissa can stain your fingers). Cover bowl with cling wrap and chill in the fridge overnight. 3. Now it's time to make the salad: Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon ground cumin into a large frying pan, stir together and warm over high heat. Add the drained chickpeas and coat in the flavored oil. 4. Turn the heat down to medium and cook for 1-2 minutes then add the pumpkin seeds and pine nuts, season with freshly ground black pepper and a pinch of salt, and continue to fry ingredients for 3-4 more minutes until everything is golden and slightly crisp. Toss often to ensure everything gets evenly toasted. Then turn off the heat and allow to cool. 5. While the nuts are cooling, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large mixing bowl along with a good pinch of crushed sea salt flakes and a seasoning of freshly ground black pepper. Add the sliced zucchini strips, and very carefully coat the vegetables in the oil. 6. Warm a griddle pan over high heat and when almost smoking, fry the zucchini strips in batches until chargrilled on both sides. Drain and allow to rest on sheets of paper towel. 7. When cool, stack the strips on top of each other, cut into long skinny strips, and then cut the opposite way into lots of small pieces. 8. Using the same griddle pan, fry the marinated chicken thighs until chargrilled and cooked through. When they are halfway through cooking, squeeze the juice of 1 lemon over the meat--this will add an extra glossy, golden colour to the meat. Repeat with a second lemon towards the end of the cooking time. 9. Remove chicken from pan, allow to rest for 5-6 minutes, then slice into 1/4 inch strips. 10. To cook the couscous, place into a bowl and cover with 2 cups of boiling water. Allow to stand for 5 minutes before fluffing up with a fork and drizzling with 1 teaspoon EVOO. 11. To make the yogurt drizzle; combine yogurt with 1 tablespoon EVOO and a small squeeze of lemon juice. 12. To assemble the dish: combine couscous, cooled nut/seed mix, zucchini, spring onion, and chopped herbs, and mix thoroughly using a large spoon. Then drizzle with the juice of 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon EVOO. Combine again, then season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to individual plates and serve with the chopped chicken scattered over and the yogurt on the side. For more foodie revelations from down under, including caramelised onion tartlets and Victoria sponge tea cake, visit What Katie Ate.

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