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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.
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.
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