Prep 20 mins
Cook 35 mins
A taste of African cuisine...
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 unwaxed lemon, zested
- 4 fresh dates or 4 soft dried dates
- 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 50 g pine nuts
- salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon harissa
- 350 ml chicken stock
- 200 g couscous
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon chopped coriander
- Cut the dates in half, discard the stone and then chop into six pieces.
- Slice the chicken into short strips.
- Heat two tablespoons of olive oil in a frying pan and stir in the onion.
- Cook until slippery and soft, then add in the pine kernels and lemon zest, salt and pepper.
- Turn down the heat and cook for about five minutes, before adding in the chicken.
- Cook until the meat is lightly browned.
- Squeeze the juice from half the lemon over the top, stir in the harissa, stock and dates.
- Simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the water is reduced by half.
- You should end up with a thick, rusty coloured sauce.
- Meanwhile, prepare the couscous by placing it in a bowl and adding 300ml boiling water, remaining olive oil and salt.
- Cover and leave for 15 minutes, then use a fork to loosen the grains and mix in the butter.
- Serve the chicken mixture over the couscous, garnished with some chopped coriander and a lemon wedge.
Prepared this dish as part of the Zaar World Tour and it just might be one of the best I've tried. The combination of the red onions, dates, pine nuts and harissa created a marvelous sauce that was simple to prepare but complex in its flavor - divinely characteristic of the region. Slightly sweet with an earthy spicy backnote. Used top quality Medjool dates for this and it was well worth the effort to seek out a superiour ingredient. Went so far as to share it with a friend, a native Morrocan chef, and even he waxed on about the authenticity and great flavor in this one. My only changes were to omit the butter in the couscous and shave back a bit of the olive oil in order to cut a few calories. Thank you Sackville.
This is a DELICIOUS dish! The sauce had a nice, complex flavor. Pine nut/date/harissa/onion/lemony goodness! I will definitely make this again! Even my "meat 'n potatoes" boyfriend loved it and had two helpings. :)