Delia

Marinated Chicken Brochettes with Green Couscous

Buttermilk makes a superb marinade – so much so you’ll wonder why you ever needed oil. The chicken will be luscious and tender and, with all the other wonderful flavours, you’ll forget this is in any way a diet recipe. This is also good served with Fresh Coriander Chutney from Book One.


Serves 2

This recipe is taken from How to Cook Book Three and The Delia Collection: Chicken

Marinated Chicken Brochettes with Green Couscous
Ingredients
 2 x 6 oz (175 g) boneless chicken breasts, skin removed
 6 fresh bay leaves, cut in half
 ½ medium red onion, peeled, halved and separated into 8 layers
 ½ large yellow pepper, deseeded and cut into 8
 1 teaspoon groundnut or other flavourless oil
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the marinade:
 1 clove garlic
 1 level teaspoon peeled, grated fresh root ginger
 1 medium-sized green chilli, deseeded
 1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves
 1 level teaspoon ground turmeric
 6 fl oz (175 ml) buttermilk
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
For the couscous:
 5 oz (150 g) couscous
 9 fl oz (250 ml) boiling chicken or vegetable stock
 4 spring onions, including the green parts, finely chopped
 2 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
 1 oz (25 g) rocket, leaves finely chopped
 2 limes: juice of 1, 1 cut into wedges, to garnish
 salt and freshly milled black pepper
Equipment
You will also need two wooden skewers, about 10 inches (25.5 cm) long.

Method

First of all, you need to make the marinade. To do this, use a pestle and mortar to crush the garlic with about ½ teaspoon of salt until it becomes a purée. Next, add the grated ginger. Then chop the chilli and coriander and mix these with the garlic and ginger, along with the turmeric and some freshly milled black pepper. After that, pour the buttermilk into a bowl and whisk the other ingredients into it.

Now cut each chicken breast into five pieces, add them to the bowl and give everything a good stir. Then press the chicken down well into the marinade, cover the surface with clingfilm and pop the bowl into the fridge for a few hours or, preferably, overnight.

When you are almost ready to cook the chicken, soak the skewers in hot water for 30 minutes (to prevent them burning). Pre-heat the grill to its highest setting for at least 10 minutes and line the grill pan with kitchen foil.

Next, dry the skewers in a clean tea cloth and thread half a bay leaf on to each one, then a piece of chicken, a piece of onion and a piece of pepper. Carry on alternating the bay leaf, chicken, onion and pepper until you have threaded five pieces of chicken on to each skewer, finishing with half a bay leaf on each. Make sure you pack everything together as tightly as possible, then season with salt and freshly milled black pepper and brush the vegetables with a minute amount of oil. Lay the brochettes on the grill rack and place them under the grill, about 4 inches (10 cm) from the heat source. Brush liberally with some of the remaining marinade and grill them for 10 minutes, before turning them over and grilling them for a further 10 minutes, brushing them with more of the marinade as they cook, and watching them carefully so they don’t burn.

While the chicken is cooking, place the couscous in a largeish bowl, then pour the boiling stock over it, add some salt and freshly milled black pepper and stir it with a fork. Then leave it on one side for 5 minutes, by which time it will have absorbed all the stock and softened. After that, fluff it up by making cutting movements across and through it with a knife. Then stir in the remaining couscous ingredients and season to taste.

When the chicken is ready, pop the brochettes on top of the couscous and serve straight away on warmed serving plates, garnished with the wedges of lime.

Nutritional information:
Per serving:
Chicken: 260 kcal, Fat 4.2 g, Saturates 1 g, Protein 46.3 g, Carbohydrate 10.3 g.
Couscous: 178 kcal, Fat 0.9 g, Saturates 0 g, Protein 4.9 g, Carbohydrate 39.5 g.

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