Monday, February 6, 2012

Cookout: Moroccan couscous with grilled chicken

Photo grabbed from the Starbucks Philippines site :)
I rarely come up with recipes of my own but I like following some that I find in magazines or cookbooks and try to tweak it to suit my taste. Other times I try to dissect the ingredients in my head once I chance upon a dish I like, take mental notes (or literal ones) then muster the courage to actually cook it.

A few weeks back, I chanced upon a new salad in Starbucks called the Moroccan couscous salad. For approximately 200 calories at Php 140, you get a some lettuce leaves, couscous, a few pieces of grilled chicken, and delicious dill yogurt. Pretty good for a light lunch or early dinner meal I must say! I liked the dish so much that I had to recreate it at home! Read on for a simple step-by-step recipe of my version.

Note: I won't specify exact measurements for the ingredients as I really just like to play it by ear (or by taste for that matter)

A. Chicken marinade 
Chicken breasts
Cloves of garlic, crushed
Chopped onions
Salt and pepper
Lemon juice
Olive oil

B. Couscous mix
Couscous - I like Bob's Red Mill brand available at Healthy Options
Chopped garlic, onions, tomatoes
Chopped cilantro or parsley
Salt and pepper
Olive oil
Lemon juice

C. Side salad
Greens (arugula and lettuce go well with the dish)
Lemon juice
Olive oil

A few more minutes and it's good to go! Slice to check for any redness.
Step 1: Marinate the chicken.
You would want to prepare the chicken marinade a day before to make sure it absorbs all the good flavor from the mix. Squeeze the lemon juice, mix with olive oil, and all other ingredients for the marinate and soak the chicken breasts in it overnight. Once you're ready to cook the couscous, put the chicken inside your oven or on a griller and cook for 10-15 mins.

Bonus: it smells delicious while cooking!
Step 2: Cook the couscous.
Cook 1 cup couscous in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes. Be sure to add just the right amount of water because the couscous could get a bit mushy. Plus it cooks really quick so watch over it closely. Sauté the garlic, onions, and tomatoes in olive oil before adding the cooked couscous. Sprinkle the cinnamon, salt, pepper, turmeric, and mix everything well together. Note: invest in a non-stick pan to avoid needless waste in food ;)

Step 3: Top couscous off with the chicken and enjoy! I feel it's best to add leafy greens to this dish not just for the extra fiber and nutrients but because it tastes delicious! Dress some arugula and lettuce with a squeeze of lemon and olive oil and you're sure to be in for a treat! Bon apetit! :)

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