Moroc­can Poached Chicken with Pomegranate Cous­cous

Rutherglen Reformer - - Special Feature -

Ruther­glen’s very own Masterchef con­tes­tant, David Banks, will be of­fer­ing up his tips and recipes for Re­former read­ers in fu­ture edi­tions of the pa­per.

This week, his recipe for Moroc­can Poached Chicken with Pomegranate Cous­cous.

For more tips and recipes, you can fol­low David on Twit­ter at www.twit­ter.com/Glas­gow_Munchy

Through fear of food poi­son­ing, home cooks will, more of­ten than not, over­cook chicken.

Hav­ing re­cently over­cooked a piece of hal­ibut on na­tional tele­vi­sion this is a sub­ject very close to my heart!

A bone­less, skin­less chicken breast is ex­pen­sive, very lean and has no bone for flavour, so mak­ing sure it is well cooked it cru­cial.

There are a small num­ber of oc­ca­sions where dried chicken is un­avoid­able, such as on a pizza where small pieces ne­ces­si­tate be­ing re­heated, but in gen­eral there is ab­so­lutely no ex­cuse for get­ting this wrong.

The idea of poach­ing (of­ten con­fused with boil­ing) a piece of meat is seen as old fash­ioned and bland. This is far from the truth and the method is used in Miche­lin star restau­rants around the world.

The recipe be­low for poached Moroc­can chicken en­sures that the fam­ily cook gets bang for their buck out of the UK’s most popular choice of meat and keeps the chicken suc­cu­lent.

A lot of the in­gre­di­ents are those you will find in a spice rack you got for Christ­mas but had no in­ter­est in ever us­ing. En­joy!

(Feeds 4, cooking and prep - one hour)

Step 1: Mak­ing the cous­cous

Add 250ml of veg­etable stock to 200g cous­cous and set aside.

To a fry­ing pan, add; olive oil, half a finely chopped onion, 2 cloves of crushed gar­lic, one diced car­rot and cook on medium heat, stir­ring reg­u­larly un­til car­rot loses its crunch. Make sure the gar­lic doesn’t go be­yond a light brown colour.

Add the cous­cous, a hand­ful of chopped co­rian­der, a finely diced spring onion, half a pomegranate, a tbsp of but­ter and the juice from one lime.

Sea­son with salt and pep­per and cook for two min­utes.

Step 2: Poach­ing the chicken

To an un­heated, small/medium pot add; rind of one whole lime, tbsp of honey, tsp of sugar, tsp of turmeric, tsp or pa­prika, half an un­chopped onion, two cloves of gar­lic, bay leaf and tbsp of tomato puree.

Add a pint of chicken stock , salt, pep­per and turn to medium heat.

Add four chicken breasts, mak­ing sure they are com­pletely cov­ered by the poach­ing liq­uid, and leave to poach un­til the chicken is soft but firm (the tex­ture of a medium/well done steak).

If the liq­uid starts to boil, re­move pot and re­duce the tem­per­a­ture – if it is al­lowed to boil for too long the chicken will be ru­ined.

Re­move chicken and leave to rest be­fore turn­ing the tem­per­a­ture to medium high.

Re­duce sauce for 10 min­utes, or what­ever is nec­es­sary, un­til it thick­ens and flavour in­ten­si­fies.

Step 3: As­sem­ble the dish

Fill a cup with the cous­cous and turn up­side down to form a shape on plate.

Cut each chicken breast in to two pieces and place be­side cous­cous. Pour sauce on top of chicken only.

Gar­nish plate with spring onions, co­rian­der and pomegranate.

Step two Add half a pint of chicken stock

Step one To cook Moroc­can Poached Chicken, start by adding rinds of lemon, tbsp of honey, tsp of sugar, tsp of turmeric, tsp or pa­prika, half an un­chopped onion, two cloves of gar­lic, bay leaf and tbsp of tomato puree into a pot.

Step three Add four chicken breasts, mak­ing sure they are com­pletely cov­ered by the poach­ing liq­uid, and leave to poach un­til the chicken is soft but firm

Done The fin­ished Moroc­can Poached Chicken dish, with­out sauce

Cooking up a treat Masterchef con­tes­tant David Banks

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