Moroccan Roast Chicken and Couscous

Well it’s been a little while since I’ve done a recipe on here, apologies! I blame tonsillitis and generally trying to balance work and home life. What a wonderful summer we just had. Yes the weather wasn’t great, but we had so much fun catching up with friends and family and attending lots of weddings. I am now looking forward to winter walks and cosy evenings, as long as the weather doesn’t mess up my hair or my shoes.

Although Autumn normally means comfort food, I do like to keep it light during the week. Also I think comfort food can be anything, from soups and stews to roast chicken and a warm salad. My husband randomly requested chicken drumsticks in some form, so I thought why not roast them up with some warm spices and serve it with a hot couscous salad.

Moroccan Roast Chicken and Couscous

I went to Morocco a few years back with friends for an absolutely epic wedding and had the pleasure of tasting the most amazing food. There were huge displays of salads, tagines, local breads and desserts. We were spoilt for choice.

We also went to the local market where we were stunned by the colours and smells of different herbs and spices. It was so vibrant and intriguing. Rose petals, cinnamon sticks and rock salts. How beautiful!

I decided to take inspiration from this incredible place and make Moroccan chicken. One of the most popular spices in Morocco is Ras el hanout, a blend of spices similar to a garam masala. Whilst you can buy this in most supermarkets, I didn’t have any. Therefore I looked up a recipe and made my own. It was so quick and easy – click here for the recipe I used.

I marinated 6 chicken drumsticks in 2 heaped tsps of this spice blend and 2 heaped tsps of harissa paste. Harissa is another popular ingredient in Morocco. A chilli paste made with different herbs and spices. I used a Rose Harissa paste from Belazu, the best one in my opinion!

I left this to marinade for about 6 hours. The longer the better! But if you are short for time then even half an hour will be great.

Next I prepared the veg for my warm salad. I simply chopped up peppers, courgettes, red onion and one garlic bulb and placed it into a roasted tray with a little olive oil and a little pinch of ras el hanout. I placed the chicken on top and roasted it in an oven at 200 degrees C for about 45-50 minutes.

Lastly, I prepared the couscous, which is possibly the easiest thing I’ve ever made. There’s no cooking involved! Simply add your couscous to a bowl, add any flavours you like and cover with boiling water for about 10 minutes. To about 125g of couscous, I added a teaspoon of ras el hanout, a pinch of cinnamon, pinch of salt, 25g raisins, juice of half a lemon and a small handful of parsley. In 10 minutes the couscous had rehydrated and became fluffy and delicious.

And there you have it! A lovely easy meal that is packed with flavour. As you can see below, I served the chicken with some fat free yoghurt mixed with harissa and garnished the dish with pomegranate seeds, flaked almonds and parsley. Serve with a side salad if you wish and enjoy!

Thanks so much for reading, I really appreciate it. Is there anything you would like to see more of on my blog? Do you prefer step by step recipes with images like the above? Please feel free to get in touch and let me know your thoughts, I would love to hear from you! Sending you positive vibes, have a lovely day 🙂

I am a food photographer and stylist based in Milton Keynes. Please check out my website to see more of my work at www.jbimagery.co.uk.

Moroccan Roast Chicken and Couscous by Bhavisha Surti at JB Imagery Food Photographer and Stylist in Milton Keynes

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