Moroccan Poached Chicken with Pomegranate Couscous
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