Moroccan chicken salad
This is definitely not your average salad. It’s amazing – tender spiced Moroccan chicken thighs, honey soaked apricots, red onion, couscous and the most delicious garlicky coriander yoghurt dressing. The pomegranate seeds add a positively festive splash of colour, making this salad absolutely perfect for Christmas entertaining. And if you wanted to add some sliced avocado or chopped strawberries, be my guest! I created this delicious recipe especially to go alongside a nice glass of First Pick Pinot Gris.
1 cup orange juice
2 tbsp honey
3/4 cup dried apricots, quartered
1kg chicken thighs, boneless & skinless
3 tsp cumin seeds
3 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp turmeric
½ tsp mixed spice
½ tsp white pepper
Zest of 1 lemon
½ cup pistachio or pine nuts
1 ½ cups Israeli couscous
3 cups baby spinach leaves
1 red onion, very thinly sliced
Handful pomegranate seeds (optional)
1 bunch fresh coriander, chopped
¼ cup unsweetened yoghurt
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 clove garlic, crushed
Pinch of chili flakes
Gently heat the orange juice and honey until melted. Add the apricots, transfer to a bowl, cover and leave to soak for two hours or overnight.
Add the chicken thighs to a bowl with the 2 tbsp olive oil, cumin seeds, coriander, turmeric, mixed spice, white pepper and lemon zest. Mix well and leave for 1 hour or overnight.
Toast the pistachio or pine nuts in a dry pan for a couple of minutes until fragrant.
Heat an oiled BBQ grill or frying pan over a high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned on one side. Turn over and reduce the heat to medium. Cook for about 10 minutes or until cooked through, turning once more. Season well with salt and pepper, and rest for 5-10 minutes.
Whisk the dressing ingredients together with 3 tbsp of the apricot marinade juice, and season.
Mix the onion in a bowl with a good pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Just before serving, rinse and squeeze out.
Cook couscous according to packet directions (for an extra tasty version, cook it in chicken stock, not water), drain, and add to a large mixing bowl. While hot, stir through spinach, sliced onion, drained apricots and 2 tbsp dressing. Toss and arrange on a platter.
Slice the warm chicken and arrange over top (pour over any resting juices). Drizzle with remaining dressing and sprinkle with the nuts, pomegranate seeds and extra fresh coriander or parsley.