These generously seasoned chicken skewers are coated in flavorful spices. Whole-wheat couscous is the perfect accompaniment. Preserved lemons can be found at grocers specializing in Middle Eastern foods.
North African Chicken Skewers with Couscous
For the chicken skewers:
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. smoked paprika
1/2 tsp. saffron threads
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup (1/2 oz./15 g) chopped fresh cilantro
3 Tbs. olive oil
3 lb. (1.5 kg) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2-inch (4-cm) cubes
32 extra-large green olives, pitted
2 whole preserved lemons, cut into eighths
For the herbed couscous:
2 cups (12 oz./375 g) whole-wheat couscous
2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) boiling water
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup (3/4 oz./20 g) chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as parsley, cilantro and mint
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
To make the skewers, in a shallow nonreactive bowl, stir together the cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, paprika, saffron, garlic, cilantro and olive oil until well mixed. Add the chicken, olives and lemon wedges and toss to coat with the spice mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 8 hours.
Soak 8 wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes. Preheat the broiler. Thread he chicken, olives and lemon wedges onto each skewer, dividing them evenly; discard the marinade. Do not crowd the pieces too tightly. Place the skewers on a rimmed baking sheet. Broil until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Turn the skewers and continue to broil until the chicken is golden and opaque throughout, about 5 minutes longer.
Meanwhile, make the couscous: Put the couscous in a heatproof bowl. Add the boiling water, cover and let stand until absorbed, about 5 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork, then stir in the olive oil and herbs. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide the couscous among warmed individual plates. Divide the skewers among the plates, and serve. Serves 6.
Find more wholesome recipes for every day of the year in our new cookbook,
Healthy Dish of the Day, by Kate McMillan.