Sis had made this poster which read:" I love blowing my own trumpet but off late it has been getting a little too loud for my own ears".
I am sorry but I just can't help it. I cooked something that I just loved. I think it is one of the best chicken dishes I have ever had. Such unusual flavor, texture, taste, the combination of seemingly varied ingredients came together to create sheer magic.
The recipe has been on my mind for a while now. Getting the ingredients together took some effort. I was quite determined to make it for dinner last night so trudged all the way to the speciality store and picked up my couscous. Hopefully I now have enough to make the dish seven times over( 500 gram pack and 75 grams each time I make this dish). I also had some Apricots leftover from Diwali( eating dry fruits during the winter months is big in the North of India), managed to find some raisins in the store next door. Rest of the ingredients were all available at home. Oh! Yes, I must add that I picked up Chicken thigh pieces for this dish which are the tenderest pieces( sold for a premium, sold as " boneless chicken legs", but well worth the price if you are making a boneless chicken dish).
Cooking the chicken with couscous makes it a balanced ,one dish meal. It has some really quick, easy steps( the dish is set on simmer for most part of the cooking time). I think substituting cous cous with daliya( widely available, lower priced) should give similar results. Going forward I also plan to add vegetables like beans, carrots and mushrooms. I think they would complement the taste. But that story is for another day. I am really eager to share this wonderful recipe which I just loved(despite cooking it myself).
Chicken with Couscous, serves 4
A popular Moroccan dish prepared with the Moroccan staple couscous
Chicken: 500 grams, boneless, ideally the thigh pieces
Olive oil: 1 tbsp
Apricots: 75 grams, chopped
Raisins: 3/4 tbsps
Jeera powder: 1/2 tsp
Dhania powder: 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon powder:1/2 tsp( grind this fresh for best results)
Couscous: 75 grams
Green coriander: 2/3 tbsp, chopped fine
Tomatoes: 4/5, chopped fine
Heat the oil in a non-stick kadai.
Add the chicken pieces and cook till it changes colour.
Add the powder spices and cook for a minute or two.
Add the tomatoes, raisins, apricot, salt and water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes. You could cover and cook to help the chicken cook faster.
Once the chicken is done, stir in the couscous and cook for another 5/7 minutes till the couscous is tender.
Garnish with finely chopped green corriander.
Though this is a one dish meal you could also serve it with a stir fry. The apricot, raisin, tomato and couscous combination is sure to appeal.
Bon Apetit and Happy Cooking!