Monday 21 October 2013
Grilled Chicken Breast with Moroccan Spices, Couscous Salad & Mint Yogurt Sauce
Here's a little something I put together last night. My coworker brought me some spice mixes and edible argan oil from a trip to her native Morocco this past summer. One of the spice mixes was particularly for poultry (turmeric, cumin, ginger, etc..). I took three boneless chicken breasts and rubbed them in salt, pepper and the Moroccan poultry mix. Then I pounded them into an even thickness (which not only tenderizes the meat but permeates it with the flavours of the rub) and let them marinate for a couple of hours. I cooked them on the barbecue until they were slightly charred and gnarly on the outside but juicy and tender on the inside.
I paired that with a fairly standard couscous salad I make from time to time (it made a previous cameo in a stuffed fish recipe I shared a few months back). It's essentially couscous, red pepper, seeded cucumber, dried fruit, fresh mint and fresh cilantro. This time I added a little finely sliced shallot. For the dried fruit I usually use cranberries or raisins (sometimes diced apricot) but the only dried fruit I had on hand were cherries so I used those. It was interesting actually, I'll likely try that again.
For a cool, refreshing sauce to counter balance the smokiness of the chicken I chopped some fresh mint and added it to my mortar with just a little bit of the argan oil to help the mint release its own essential oils. Using the pestle, I ground the mint into a wet paste and then stirred in a couple tablespoons of thick yogurt. It was very refreshing.
A rather quick and healthy meal idea with a little exotic flair. Stay tuned as I will be back with more this week.