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chicken and chorizo couscous

Couscous is a popular ingredient at our place, and I love how quick it is. We often serve it with grilled lamb, seasoned with a nod to its North African roots, or chicken and preserved lemon.

This dish takes a different approach as it’s a one-pot meal, and can be prepared very quickly. Apart from roasting the tomatoes, this is a good weeknight meal that you could probably be serving 30min after starting; so if time is really an issue, the roasting is optional; just add the raw tomatoes with the olives, or substitute a different vegetable.

frying chicken and chorizo

Chicken and chorizo is a wonderful combination; it seems very indulgent somehow, not that that stops me from cooking it! This combination, along with the chilli and garlic, adds a wonderful richness to the couscous, which can sometimes be just a bland backdrop in a meal; while the vegetables add some sweetness and crunch, not to mention extra colour. I’ve used zucchini and roasted tomatoes here, but capsicum would also be great instead of the zucchini, perhaps with some added paprika, and you could also try baby spinach, or blanched cauliflower or broccoli – so it’s another flexible meal!

You’ll note that this only serves two, as it was a rare kids free night!  If you need to double or triple, make sure you use a large pan to allow for the couscous to expand.

adding couscous

Chicken and chorizo couscous

Inspired by a recipe in a Donna Hay cookbook plus the oven dried tomatoes in Ottolenghi, The Cookbook.

Serves 2 (plus a leftovers lunch)

  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 1 chorizo
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 1 punnet (250g) cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 c couscous (I use wholemeal, and pearl couscous is also great)
  • 1 c chicken stock
  • ½ c water
  • ½ c pitted Kalamata olives

Put the cherry tomatoes in a small baking dish and sprinkle with the brown sugar, balsamic and 1Tbs of the oil. Roast in a 180C oven until split and wrinkling, about 30 min.

When the tomatoes are nearly done, chop the onion, dice the chicken, slice the chorizo thinly, and crush or slice the garlic. Add the other Tbs oil, chicken, chorizo, onion, chilli and garlic to a saucepan or large deep frying pan.

Fry gently for about 5 min until the chicken and chorizo are browning. Chop the zucchini and add, stirring for another couple of minutes. When the tomatoes are done, remove from the pan and deglaze the pan with the ½ c water.

Reduce heat to very low, and stir in the couscous, stock and water. Cover and leave for a couple of minutes. When the couscous is cooked, fluff gently with a fork, and cover and leave another couple of minutes off the heat. Gently fold in the tomatoes and olives and serve.