I LOVED THE TASTE OF THIS DISH the first time my cousin Mags cooked it for me. In fact, it wasn’t just me, everyone around the table loved it. That’s why I wanted to blog about it – with the permission of Mags – and share it with as many people as possible. What makes it special is the combination of pomegranate seeds (something I honestly haven’t used before), fresh mint leaves and lemon juice. It is such a deliciously novel flavour combination. I also love the way the deep pink pomegranate juice bleeds through the couscous and contrasts with the bright green colour of the mint leaves, making it an aesthetically pleasing dish.
It’s pretty easy to make. I did, however, make one misstep by using a whole pomegranate and scraping out the seeds. It was fine but a little messy. If you can find a packet of pomegranate seeds then I would use these instead – it saves hassle and mess. If you can’t find a packet, then wear an apron whist scraping out the seeds!
Overall, the dish felt pretty healthy, with the use of chicken and absence of anything overly sweet which may contain unrefined sugars or fats. Also small-scale studies have indicated that pomegranate juice may lower cholesterol levels. So on all fronts, it would appear to be a winner.
Just8 – Glasgow Based Food Blog Recipe for Mags’ Amazing Couscous
- 1 x 110g sachet of couscous (coriander and lemon flavoured, if possible)
- 2 x chicken breast
- 1 x pomegranate (or pack of pomegranate seeds – if you can buy the seeds I would recommend this)
- 20g fresh mint leaves
- 1 x juice of a lemon
- 60ml low fat greek style yogurt
- 1 tsp mint sauce
- 2 x flatbread
1. Add 1 tsp of cooking oil (I used olive oil) to the foil and spread it around. This is so that the chicken does not stick to it. Add the chicken to roughly the centre and fold the foil around it, so the chicken is enclosed in the parcel.
Put the chicken parcel on a tray and put in a fan-assisted oven at 180C for 25 mins (or until it is cooked right the way through without any sign of pink bits in the middle). Chicken cannot be undercooked!
2. Whilst the chicken is cooking prepare the other ingredients:
(i) Add the couscous to a pan and follow instructions on the packet. For this particular couscous I had to add 200ml of boiling water to the pan and leave it for 5 mins. (No need to switch the gas/electric on underneath the pan). In this time, it absorbed all the water. I then left the pan alone until near to the end of the recipe.
(ii) Scrape the pomegranate seeds out of the pomegranate using a knife – to cut the pomegranate into a few pieces – and a metal spoon to do the scraping. Wear an apron for this! And don’t have anything within a metre that isn’t easy to clean.
(iii) Cut a whole lemon into 4 pieces ready for squeezing. Roughly chop all the mint leaves.
(iv) Mix the low fat greek yogurt with the mint sauce.
3. When the chicken is cooked, chop it into medium-sized pieces (see below).
4. Here comes the fun bit. Get a glass mixing bowl – add the couscous, then the squeezed juice of a lemon (I just squeeze it straight into the mixing bowl and pick out the pips if any fall in), the pomegranate seeds and then finally the mint leaves. Gently mix it together.
5. Warm the flat bread in the microwave for 30 seconds. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the minty yogurt to the flat bread. And warm the couscous for 2 mins, stirring a bit so that it doesn’t burn to the bottom of the pan.
6. Add a couple of spoonfuls of the mixture onto the warm flat bread. And serve.
You will probably have about half the mixture left in the glass bowl. Keep this until the next day for lunch (you could have it in a wrap or as a side dish) or to have with dinner.
I reckon using half the couscous and chicken mixture and one flatbread you are looking at a calorie count of about 400cals per meal.
Just8 Tip : Optional extras could be roasted onion (cooked whilst roasting the chicken), green beans and feta cheese.