When I was sitting down to write this week's menu plan, I knew that I wanted to do something a bit different with chicken. I had visions of a twist on shepherds pie, with spicy chicken topped with mash. When I looked in my cupboard for inspiration, I came across a pack of couscous and decided to see if a couscous bake would work as well as a pasta bake.
I'd received a pot of Kent’s Kitchen Cranberry & Orange Stuffing mix in a recent Degustabox and I decided that the tart fruity flavours would work well in this dish, as the smell reminded me of a Chicken & Apricot Tagine that we sometimes eat, after discovering it on holiday. It ended up working so well that a new Madhouse family favourite has been born !
All-in-one Moroccan Couscous & Chicken Bake
a drizzle of olive oil
a pack of chicken breasts
a bit of chicken stock or gravy
Moroccan spices (ras el hanout, chermoula or similar - or just mix up what you have : ginger, smoked paprika, garlic granules, cumin, chilli, coriander, even mint)
a pack of couscous
a knob of butter
a tub of Kent’s Kitchen Cranberry & Orange Stuffing mix
Chop the chicken and onion into chunks and fry in the olive oil until cooked through. Season with salt, pepper and Moroccan style spices to give it a taste of the Orient. Add a little chicken stock or gravy so that it's not too dry.
Make up the couscous following the instructions. This generally means adding equal quantities of couscous and boiling water to a bowl and leaving it to absorb the liquid. Add a knob of butter and season to taste with salt. I used Moroccan spiced couscous which gave it a lovely lift, so you could always add a bit more Moroccan seasoning to the couscous if yours is plain. Transfer the couscous to an ovenproof dish.
Pour over the chicken.
Make up the stuffing mix by adding boiling water and leaving it to absorb.
Scatter dollops of stuffing all over the top of the dish and use a fork to spread them out to cover as much as possible.
Bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until the stuffing is cooked.
This is so quick and simple to make that it would be great as a midweek meal when you're in a rush. The whole dish took ten minutes to prepare and twenty minutes to cook so it could be on the table in half an hour. The Madhouse kids were unsure to begin with but ended up asking for seconds! The stuffing mix gave it a great lift - the fruity pieces blended perfectly with the Moroccan spices to create an exotic, flavour-packed meal.