At my house, weekends are the days where the kitchen comes alive with real creativity. By contrast, my midweek meals are usually extremely uninspired (I’m sure I am not alone here).
My day job is rather hectic so I’m often exhausted when I get home so quick and easy dinners are always on the cards. This can lend itself to a lot of repetition, but every now and again when preparing a weekday meal I take a moment to think outside my usual weeknight recipe box and create something new to add to my repertoire of quick weeknight meals.
This recipe is one of those new weeknight meal success stories. I’ve used harissa before in my harissa chicken wraps recipe, but I had bought harissa for that recipe not realising how easy it was to make – never again will I buy it! After seeing a recipe for harissa last week, I realised I just had to pop into the supermarket on the way home and make some to marinate chicken with for dinner. Coupled with an idea I had a few days earlier for antipasto couscous, this meal turned out to be extremely flavourful and fragrant. I knew I would be doing you a disservice by not sharing this recipe with you so that you can add it to your midweek meal repertoire too.
Homemade Harissa Chicken Skewers
4 Birdseye chillies, quartered with 1/2 seeds removed
2 long red chillies, quartered
2 cloves garlic
1/2 lemon, juiced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground Cumin
1 tsp ground Coriander
50g spring onions roughly chopped
4 skinless chicken thighs, in 3cm cubes
In a blender, place the chilli garlic, lemon, olive oil, cumin, coriander, spring onion and salt and blend until mixture resembles a smooth paste.
Place chicken pieces in a bowl and top with half the harissa paste. Mix with your hands until the paste has well coated the chicken (adding more harissa paste if you need to). Cover with glad wrap and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes.While the chicken is marinating, soak skewers in a shallow dish of water for 30 minutes.
Thread the chicken pieces onto skewers. Heat a BBQ grill or griddle pan on high heat and cook chicken skewers for three minutes on each side or until cooked through.
Antipasto Pearl Couscous
1 teaspoon butter
1 cup Israeli (Pearl) couscous
1/4 cup semi dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1/4 cup olives, finely chopped
1/4 cup fetta stuffed pepperdews, finely chopped
1 1/4 cup vegetable stock
Heat a small saucepan on medium heat. Melt butter then add couscous stirring for 1 minute.
Add the tomatoes, olives and pepperdews and stir till well combined. Add vegetable stock and simmer on low heat until stock has been absorbed. Remove from heat and serve.