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Chicken with Couscous, Honey and Cinnamon  Recipe

Course: Main Course
Total Time: Under 30 Minutes
Skill Level: Easy
Cost: Inexpensive
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Chicken with Couscous, Honey and Cinnamon 

Photo by: Joseph DeLeo

While I’ve got nothing against a good chicken sandwich, there are many more exciting things you can do with a few shreds of cold roast chicken. Couscous is a very useful medium for leftover meat, and this is one of my favorite ways to eat cold chicken. Take a tub of this with you to work, or serve up with crisp lettuce leaves as a quick supper.

Yield: Serves 2

  • 2/3 cup blanched almonds
  • 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup couscous
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • About 1 cup boiling water, or chicken or vegetable stock
  • About 1 cup chopped cold cooked chicken
  • 1 small preserved lemon, pulp discarded and skin finely chopped (or the grated zest of ½ fresh lemon)
  • A good squeeze of lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley or mint


Put the almonds in a dry frying pan and toast over medium heat for a few minutes, tossing occasionally, until golden brown. Let cool, then chop them very coarsely.

Heat the oil in a small saucepan, add the onion, garlic, and some salt and pepper and cook gently for about 10 minutes, until softened. Add the cinnamon, then take off the heat and stir in the couscous.

Stir the honey into the boiling water or stock until dissolved, then pour over the couscous (it should just cover it) and put a tight-fitting lid on the pan. Let stand for 10 minutes, until the couscous has swollen up and absorbed all the liquid. Fluff it up with a fork, transfer to a bowl, and let cool.

Toss the chicken pieces, almonds, preserved lemon or zest, and the lemon juice into the couscous and season to taste. Pack into a lunch box, or pile into a serving dish for serving at the table. Either way, finish with a sprinkling of parsley or mint and a good grinding of black pepper.

Variation: Leftover Lamb with Couscous, Lemon, and Mint

Prepare the couscous as above, leaving out the cinnamon and honey. Toss about 1 cup shredded cold roast lamb into the couscous, along with the grated zest and juice of 1 lemon and 2 tablespoons of chopped mint. You can keep the almonds or not, as you prefer, and/or add a couple of handfuls of chopped dried apricots, if you like.

© 2009 Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

839kcal (42%)
743mg (31%)
45g (70%)
6g (28%)
53mg (18%)
26mcg RAE (1%)
15mg (25%)
169mg (17%)
4mg (22%)

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