Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Recipe: Harissa Chicken & Butternut and Moroccan Style Vegetable Couscous

I have had another success in the kitchen with a new recipe, so I thought I'd share. :)

Gluten Free: since this has couscous it is not gluten free, however, subbing in quinoa or wild rice would work just as well. Also make sure your harissa paste has not been bulked out with gluten.

Vegetarian: Quorn or Tofu would make a good substitute for the chicken.

Vegan: Vegan Quorn  or Tofu instead of chicken and a soy or coconut yogurt would work well to make this dish vegan friendly.

Harissa Chicken & Butternut with Moroccan Style Vegetable Couscous

Serves 4 (if you have a group with really healthy appetites then up the amount of couscous and veggies, or add another chicken breast :))


4 skinless chicken breasts
2 red onions
3 tbsp harissa paste
3 tbsp natural yogurt
2 tbsp oil (sunflower, olive, vegetable, coconut etc)
Vegetable Couscous
120g couscous
150ml (~3/4cup) chicken or vegetable stock
2 tsp Moroccan spice mix (this is available off the shelf or there are recipes for making it)
2 red bell peppers (capsicum) (I use roasted, deskinned ones from a jar because I hate pepper skin, but you could use fresh)
2 large flat mushrooms
100g frozen peas
1 tbsp oil (sunflower, olive, vegetable, coconut etc)
Other options are aubergine, courgette, tender stem broccoli - anything you like really that will take the Moroccan spice.
To serve: more natural yogurt


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C(400F)/180C(350F) fan/Gas 6.
  2. Mix 2tbsp of the harissa with the 3tbsp of yogurt and add a little salt as well (leaving the salt out if you don't normally use it is fine).
  3. Slash the tops of the chicken breast.
  4. Roll the chicken breast in the yogurt mixture and leave to marinate.
  5. Peel, de-seed and cut the butternut squash into wedges.
  6. Peel and cut the red onions into eight wedges each.
  7. Mix the last tbsp of harissa with the oil in a large roasting tin.
  8. Add the butternut and onion and stir until covered.
  9. Cook in the oven for 10 mins.
  10. Add the chicken to the tray and pop back in the oven for 20-30 mins until the chicken is done and the butternut is tender.
  11. While the bake is cooking, chop the mushroom and red pepper into small chunks.
  12. Add the tbsp oil to a frying pan with 1tsp of the Moroccan spice mix and heat until the spices start to give off their aroma.
  13. Add the mushroom and cook until it gives off its water.
  14. Add the pepper and peas and cook for five mins until they pick up the spice.
  15. Cook the couscous in the stock with the other tsp of Moroccan spice (check the instructions on the packet, for mine it was bring the stock mixture to the boil, add the couscous and keep cooking for five mins, or until all the water was absorbed and then let stand until the time totals five mins).
  16. Add the couscous to the frying pan of veg and mix together.
  17. Take the tray bake out of the oven and serve one chicken breast per person with some of the butternut and onion, with the couscous on the side, and extra yogurt for those who want it.
This is very tasty and mildly spicy. I'm a mild chilli, korma kind of girl, so its that level of heat for anyone who might be worried. I had never used harissa before, so I was not sure if it would be too spicy for me, but it was good. For those who like more punch, adding a chilli or two would work to give it a bit of a whack.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Tasha - sounds delicious ... I'll be having a belated birthday Moroccan lunch shortly with a friend ... there's illness around, so waiting for the 'when'. I wrote about paprika in a recent post ... Moroccan spices with peppers ... so good - then butternut - definitely a favourite ... looks to be a very good recipe - thanks for sharing .. cheers Hilary


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