Sometimes I just make the couscous with another main dish. I’ve substituted raisins, chopped dates and prunes for the apricots and almonds, which translates into we didn’t have any. If you want to vary the amount of couscous, use two parts water to one part couscous. To add extra flavour, heat the water for the couscous, soak the raisins till their plump, about 10 minutes, then use that water for the couscous.
1/4 cup (50 mL) vegetable oil
2 tsp (10 mL) ground cumin
1 tsp (5 mL) ground coriander
1/2 tsp (2 mL) turmeric
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1/4 (1 ml) cinnamon
1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) couscous
2/3 (150 mL) dried apricots, cut in strips
1 tsp (5 mL) grated orange rind
1/4 cup (50 mL) orange juice
1/3 cup (75 mL) slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup (50 mL) chopped fresh parsley
4 wedges lemon
4 wedges orange
In bowl, combine 2 tbsp (25 mL) of the oil, cumin, coriander, turmeric, half of the salt, the cinnamon and pepper; set aside 1 tbsp (15 mL) for couscous. Add chicken to remainder; toss to coat.
Place chicken on greased grill over medium-high heat; close lid and cook, turning once, until no longer pink inside, about 12 minutes. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.)
Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine couscous and apricots; add 1-1/2 cups (375 mL) boiling water. Let stand for 5 minutes; fluff with fork.
Whisk together orange rind and juice, remaining oil and reserved spice mixture. Using fork, mix into couscous along with almonds, parsley and remaining salt. (Make-ahead: Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days.)
Divide salad among plates. Slice chicken crosswise into 1/2-inch (1 cm) thick slices; place on salad. Serve with lemon and orange wedges.
Substitution: Use quartered dried dates or golden raisins instead of the apricots, and 4 salmon fillets (about 1-1/2 lb/750 g total) instead of the chicken breasts. If you have some homemade chicken stock, feel free to use it instead of water. But avoid the store bought stock for this dish.