Lemon Chicken Couscous

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Post  Sun, Oct 25 2020, 11:29 am
This looks like a difficult recipe but it was actually very easy because it is a recipe for the protein (chicken) - veggies plus the carb (couscous) and they all work together.

It's really just chicken with vegetables and couscous but the combination of the flavors complemented each other very well.

The recipe is from a cookbook I got recently which has the best recipes from NY food trucks and stands which are now often where very interesting (but generally not-kosher food) is being served. Some chefs have gotten their start with food trucks since the start up costs are lower than with a restaurant.

I did simplify a bit as I used bagged squash rather than peeling an dicing it. I also broiled the chicken instead of grilling it but if you have a grill that would be an even simpler way to cook the chicken. I also added a few parsnips because I am a fan of parsnip - obviously the mix of veggies can be what you like and what looks good at the store.

The prep can be done ahead since marinating the chicken for as much as 24 hours works. Veggies can be cooked ahead and reheated. Couscous is one of the fastest and easiest carb side to make.


COMME CI COMME ÇA | New York City, New York

Excerpt From: James Cunningham - Eat St.

Serves 4 to 6

Lemon Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
½ cup (125 mL) lemon juice
¼ cup (60 mL) olive oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) dried oregano
1 tbsp (15 mL) dried thyme
1 tbsp (15 mL) pepper
1½ tsp (7 mL) salt
½ preserved lemon, finely chopped

Vegetables and Sauce

1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
¼ cup (60 mL) vegetable oil - I used less and all olive oil
1 tsp (5 mL) olive oil
4 tsp (20 mL) salt
1½ tsp (7 mL) pepper
1 tsp (5 mL) ground ginger
½ tsp (2 mL) turmeric
½ handful of fresh parsley leaves, chopped
½ handful of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
1 cup (250 mL) chickpeas, soaked overnight and drained
8 cups (2 L) water
6 carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise
3 turnips, peeled and halved lengthwise
2 or 3 small sweet potatoes, peeled and halved lengthwise (optional)
4 or 5 small zucchini (long or round), halved lengthwise
1 small butternut squash, quartered (or a small section of pumpkin, peeled and cut into 3-inch/ 8 cm pieces)


3 cups (750 mL) water
1 tbsp (15 mL) salted butter 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil - sub margarine for butter or just use all olive oil
1½ tsp (7 mL) cinnamon
1½ tsp (7 mL) turmeric
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
3 cups (750 mL) couscous

To marinate the chicken, cut chicken into bite-size pieces. In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, thyme, pepper, and salt. Stir in preserved lemon and chicken, turning to coat chicken thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. (Meanwhile, make the vegetables and sauce. Soak bamboo skewers in water for at least 30 minutes.)

For the vegetables and sauce, in a large saucepan, combine onion, tomatoes, vegetable oil, olive oil, salt, pepper, ginger, and turmeric. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until browned and onions and tomatoes have formed a thick sauce. Add parsley, cilantro, chickpeas, and water. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium and simmer rapidly for 30 minutes.

Add carrots, turnips, and sweet potatoes (if using); simmer for 15 minutes. Add zucchini and butternut squash; simmer for another 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Adjust seasoning—sauce should be salty and peppery. Set aside, keeping warm.

Preheat grill to high. Thread chicken onto skewers (reserving marinade).’

For the couscous, in a large saucepan, combine water, butter, oil, cinnamon, turmeric, and salt. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Stir in couscous. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. (Meanwhile, grill chicken.) Fluff couscous with a fork to break up any clumps.

Grill chicken, basting frequently with marinade and turning occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink inside, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove chicken from skewers.

Divide couscous among plates, shaping it into a mound with a well in the center. Spoon vegetables into well. Arrange lemon chicken over and around vegetables. Spoon sauce evenly over couscous and vegetables. Serve with remaining sauce on the side”
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