The best couscous salad

cous

This couscous salad is divine. I know, the recipe sounds too simple to create a divine dish but trust me, and my friend Gaby, when we say it is delicious.

I whipped this up one night when I was tired, hot and bothered and had no energy to cook and it turned out great. I just served it with some fried halloumi and a glass of white wine and it turned out to the an amazing supper.

Couscous salad with chilli and mint, serves 2

2 portions coucous

olive oil

1/2 lemon

1 tomato

3 spring onions 

1/2 red chilli

a handful mint

sea salt

Cook the couscous according to the packet, but add some stock to the water. Takes max 5 mins. Meanwhile chop/slice the chilli, tomato, spring onion and mint.

Use a fork to puff up the couscous and add some olive oil. Heat up some more oil in a non-stick pan and fry the chilli for a minute or two without browning. Mix the chilli and hot oil into the couscous and add the tomato and spring onions. Add some lemon juice and salt. Adjust the seasoning and add the mint. Serve with fried halloumi, barbecues chicken or what else you fancy. 

Chicken drumsticks with sweet chilli marinade

I always tend to by chicken drumsticks when they’re on offer, as I like the darker chicken meat and these are perfect to snack on, bring to a picnic etc.

The recipe for this fabulous marinade is from a great Swedish food blog called Smaskens. Annika who runs it is one of my role models in cooking and all the recipes I have tried from her have been wonderful. This was no exception.

I ate the drumsticks in two ways. First served with couscous with lemon and spinach and a simple cold sauce with creme fraiche and sweet chilli. Second just lukewarm with corn on the cob. Both were delicious, and if you marinade the chicken for as long as I did, 48 hours, the meat is so tender and succulent you don’t need a sauce with it.

Chicken drumsticks with sweet chilli marinade

After Annika’s recipe.

1,8 kg chicken drumsticks

50 ml Chinese soy sauce

100 ml sweet chilli sauce

100 ml olive oil

4 cloves of garlic, grated/pressed

2 tsp sambal oelek

1 tsp salt

black pepper

Mix the ingredients for the marinade and pour it into a large ziplock bag (double-bag if needed) and add the chicken. Marinade for at least an hour, preferably longer. I kept mine in the fridge for 48 hours, turning it around a few times to the marinade to distribute evenly.

Place the chicken on a wire rack with a roasting tray underneath. Cook in 200C oven for about 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes so the cook evenly.

Chicken thighs with asparagus couscous

I know that a lot of people prefer the fillets when they buy chicken, but I have always prefered the darker meat. Which was perfect at home when I grew up. If he had a whole roast chicken, my dad would have the breasts and my mother and I the darker meats like thighs, wings and drumsticks.

Chicken breast is good for ceratain dishes, but it feels like people in general have forgotten about the other cuts. A shame… But good for me I guess. My favourite part of the chicken is the thighs, and they are really cheap in comparison. And juicier (it is almost impossible to end up with dry thighs) and it also has more flavours.

Last week we had this really nice, but oh so easy to make, dish for supper. Fried marinated chicken thighs with a delicious couscous salad, containing marinated red onions and fried asparagus, served with sweet chili creme fraiche (it goes so well with chicken).

Chicken thighs with asparagus couscous, serves 2

4 chicken thighs

4 tbsp garlic marinade (I used a store bought one)

300 ml vegetable stock (boiling water + concentrated stock)

couscous

a bunch of asparagus

1 red onion

1 lime, the juice

olive oil

rocket

creme fraiche

sweet chilli sauce

Pour the marinade in a ziplock bag and add the chicken. Leave to marinate in the fridge for at least an hour. Fry the chicken on high heat to brown, then transfer to a roasting tray and fry in the oven. 200C ,20 minutes.

Pour the hot stock into a bowl. Add enough coucous to nearly soak up all the water. Add some olive oil. Wait for a minute. Mix with a fork.

Cut the onion in half and slice thinly. Place in a bowl, add lime juice (or lemon) and some olive oil. Leave until everything is ready.

Break the ends off the asparagus, cut into small pieces, diagonally, and fry until soft in olive oil on medium heat. Re-use the pan used for frying the chicken.

Mix creme fraiche with as much sweet chilli sauce as you prefer, add salt.

Take out the chicken from the oven and let it rest while you finish off the salad. Mix the couscous with the asparagus, onion and the marinade for the onion. Put it on a large plate and add rocket. Serve with the chicken and the sauce.