Seasonal local food recipe No 94: Couscous with chicken and baby spinach

A variation on a recipe by Angela Hartnett that uses pea shoots but we can use the spinach from this week’s boxes instead. You can either cook the chicken from fresh or it’s an excellent way of using up some leftovers.

Serves 4 as a starter or 2 as a main
Preparation and cooking: 40 minutes or so if cooking the chicken, much less if not

olive oil
4 chicken thighs
salt and pepper
1 clove crushed garlic
1 sprig rosemary
250g instant couscous
400ml boiling water
2 spring onions, sliced
½ tsp ground ginger
1 dsp raisins
1 dsp chopped hazelnuts
4 salad radishes, sliced
50ml vinaigrette
½ tsp pesto
½ handful baby spinach or pea shoots

Heat a touch of olive oil in a frying pan. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and cook together with the crushed garlic and rosemary over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes, turning occasionally until it is golden brown and a knife can go through it easily. If it appears to be dry, add a touch of water. Once it is cooked, allow it to cool and either shred the meat or remove the bone and slice into strips, skin and all.

While the chicken is cooling, turn your attention to the couscous. Place it in a bowl with a pinch of salt and 1 tbsp of olive oil, add the 400ml of boiling water, stir and cover with a plate or clingfilm. Leave for five minutes before removing the cover and breaking the couscous up with a fork. Then add the chicken and remaining ingredients. Mix well and check the seasoning.

Serve in a large bowl at room temperature.

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