harissa yoghurt chicken & vegetable couscous

harissachick

The 2 nights per week that my husband is not at work allow me to take a bit longer in the kitchen. Sunday and Monday evenings are when I do my meal prep for the following week and make sure my fridge and freezer are stocked. I also like to to take a bit more time making dinner on these nights. Being able to create something in the kitchen is one of the things that keep me sane so I really look forward to these evenings.

Saying that, this baked chicken dish is not complicated and I threw it together with what was in my fridge and pantry. I made a richly-flavoured marinade with yoghurt, spices and roast red capsicum, poured it over some chicken thighs and baked them for 20 minutes while I made the vegetable couscous. I used the roast capsicum you can find in jars in the supermarket. I always have a jar of these in my fridge – they are an easy and welcome addition to many salads, couscous, tagines, etc.

We had this delicious dish with a spinach salad and you could also add some flatbread if you wished.

harissa yoghurt chicken

  • 1c yoghurt
  • 1 roast red capsicum, peeled, deseeded
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 lemon, zest and juice (or finely diced preserved lemon)
  • 1.5tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • coriander, see note*
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 chicken thighs, skin on, bone in, seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2tb olive oil

Preheat your oven to 200’C. Puree the yoghurt, capsicum, spices, lemon and salt in a blender or processor until smooth. Heat the olive oil in a pan over med-high heat and cook the chicken thighs, skin down, until the skin is golden. Transfer them to a baking dish leaving any remaining oil and rendered chicken fat in the pan. Pour over the yoghurt marinade and place in the oven for 20 minutes. (It may seem like a lot of sauce but any excess is delicious poured over the couscous.)

Meanwhile, using the fat left in the pan, sauté some vegetables of your choosing until golden and cooked through. Season well. For 6 portions,  I used..

  • 1 capsicum, sliced
  • 1 small sweet potato, diced
  • 1 spanish onion, sliced
  • handful of mushrooms, sliced
  • handful of green beans
  • handful of pine nuts (flaked almonds would also work well)

Then add 1 c of couscous and 2 c of water or stock, place a lid on the pan (or foil securely) and leave to cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Remove the lid, stir well, replace the lid and turn off the heat. Allow to finish steaming for a couple of minutes then fluff with a fork. Add some chopped parsley, coriander or spinach and some diced fresh date or some raisins if you wish.

Make It Easy On Yourself: blend the yoghurt marinade and dice the vegetables for the couscous the day before. And remember to keep a jar of roast capsicum in the fridge!

*Note: I also added some coriander stalks I had left from a previous dish. You could add a teaspoon of ground coriander or leave the coriander out entirely.

tomato baked chicken thighs with gremolata stuffing

stuffing

This is one of those dishes that has you high-fiving yourself in the kitchen with how freakin’ delicious it is. A zesty stuffing inspired by the lemon and parsley of gremolata is rolled up in chicken thighs and prosciutto. Simple enough for a school night dinner but fancy enough to be dressed up for dinner with friends. The amount of stuffing specified below would also be glorious stuffed into a whole chicken and roasted with lemon and garlic.

 tomato baked chicken thighs with gremolata crumb stuffing

  • 6 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, free range if possible
  • 6 rashers prosciutto or streaky bacon
  • 300g passata
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1/4c pine nuts
  • some thyme or sage
  • 1c breadcrumbs, fresh
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 lemon, zest of
  • small handful parsley, chopped
  • 100g goats cheese (I used goat feta)
  • small handful grated parmesan
  • olive oil
  • salt pepper

rawchickrolls

Firstly, make the stuffing. Over medium heat, sauté the onion, garlic and thyme or sage in some olive oil until cooked through and fragrant. Turn off the heat, add the breadcrumbs and stir well. Place into a bowl and add the lemon zest, parsley and egg. Mix well. Crumble the goat cheese through and season with salt and pepper.                             Take the chicken thighs and slightly flatten each one by either gently using a meat mallet or slicing and opening the thicker parts of the thigh. Place a rasher of bacon or prosciutto on your chopping board and put a flattened chicken thigh along it. Season lightly. Put 1/6th of the stuffing down the middle of the thigh and roll up. Repeat with the remaining chicken and stuffing. In a lightly oiled pan over medium heat, gently brown the tops of the chicken rolls and place snugly into a deep baking dish. Pour the passata over the chicken and place into the oven at 190’C. Bake for 20 mins, sprinkle a handful of grated parmesan over the top and bake for a further 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

bakedchickstuffedchick

We had this for dinner with a sharply-dressed green salad tossed through warmed cannelini beans and roast zucchini. Some creamy polenta or sweet potato mash would not be remiss with this delicious meal. There were 2 lovely little chicken rolls left and I served them cold and sliced over a roast vegetable and couscous salad.

Get Ahead: Prepare the chicken the day before and have it ready to pop into the oven for dinner.

 

roast chicken in milk with garlic, sage, lemon, cinnamon

sagemilkchicken

This is just a lovely dish that I cannot recommend enough. Chicken legs are cooked in a milk, fragrant with zest, garlic and spice. Add creamed corn and roast potatoes and this is roast chicken heaven.

chicken cooked in milk

  • 4 chicken marylands (drumstick/thigh)
  • 1 lemon, peeled zest of
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 6 cloves of garlic, squashed a little
  • 4-6 sprigs sage, leaves from
  • 2 c full cream milk
  • salt, olive oil

In a hot pan, brown the chicken legs till golden. Pop into a baking dish with the lemon zest, cinnamon, garlic, sage leaves and milk. Cover with foil, bake at 190’C for 20 mins, discard foil, baste, cook 15 mins more. Remove from oven. Drain off milk into a pot. Reduce over med-high while stirring until curds develop (see white lumps in photo?) and the milk is saucy. Pour sauce over chicken before serving.
Serve with creamed corn or polenta and some roast vegetables. You’re welcome. 🙂