Blimey time flies when you’re having fun. And moving house. And I hasten to add that the two are absolutely, definitely mutually exclusive. It’ s been so long i don’t know where to start. So where the heck have I been? Why on earth did I neglect you all for so long?? And why, more importantly, have I left you all staring into your pantry cupboards without a friend at your shoulder to suggest a sprinkle of this and a dollop of that?
Moving house. It sounds so simple. So trite. It even looks so simple when it’s right there in black and white. Let’s add a little flavour – I was moving house from Cape Town to Johannesburg. From one of the most beautiful cities in Africa, to… one of the biggest and bolshiest cities in Africa. With little 5 month old Sophie in tow. And Rob of course. Though he wasn’t really in tow, rather I was, kicking and screaming in a very unladylike manner. Less simple now? I hope so. Might I be forgiven for my extended absence? Does it help that I’ve missed you enormously?
Good grief woman. Put a cork in it. Or rather, let’s take a cork out of a good old bottle of white (last night ours was the inelegantly named Fat Bastard Chardonnay) and give this beauty a bash shall we? I give you, after far far too long, Tuesday’s twist on tossed-together Chicken Salad.
Chicken and Herbed Cous Cous Salad
Serves 2 | Preparation time 10 minutes | Cooking time 15 minutes
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
4 de-boned skinless chicken thighs
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 cup cous cous
2 ripe tomatoes
2 sticks celery
1/2 ripe avocado
Knob fresh root ginger
Handful chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Assortment of about 1 Tbsp each of sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and pine nuts (or any seeds and nuts you have in your pantry)
Juice of 1 lemon
*Optional extras – goats cheese or feta and chopped fresh basil or 2 tsp basil pesto.
1 courgette, peeled into ribbons with a vegetable peeler and ‘blanched’ by pouring boiling water over the ribbons and leaving to soak for 2-3 minutes then drain.
For the dressing: 2 Tbsp olive oil, 2 Tbsp balsamic or red wine vinegar, 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes.
WHAT TO DO
1. Fry the chicken thighs with a drizzle of olive oil until golden and cooked through (about 10 minutes) turning half way.
2. Meanwhile, pour the cous cous into a bowl, pour over boiling water until all the cous cous is covered, and put a lid or plate over the bowl. Leave to stand.
3. Roughly chop the tomatoes, celery, avocado and parsley and put into a serving bowl with the courgette ribbons if you have chosen to add them. Grate about 1tsp fresh ginger and add to the bowls along with the seeds and lemon juice.
4. Toast the pine nuts for 2-3 minutes in a small pan on med-high heat, stirring from time to time until they are golden.
5. Heat the dressing ingredients in a small saucepan.
6. Remove the chicken, slice into rough bite-sized pieces, add to the salad mixture along with the cous cous and dressing and stir through with a fork and sprinkle of salt and pepper before serving.