Morrocan Chick(en/pea) Salad
Active Prep time: 30 minutes + 5 minutes for hydrating and cooking chickpeas
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes, but allow at least 9 hours for chickpeas to hydrate and cook. I don't recommend using canned chickpeas, as they have an unpleasant flavour and mushy texture.
- 3/4 cup couscous
- 2/3 cup cooked chickpeas, chicken, or some combination of the two
- 2 oranges
- 1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds
- 1/3 cup cucumber
- 1/4 cup olives
- 1/4 cup chopped mint (plus extra leaves for garnish)
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 3 cups lettuce
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice or vinegar
- 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil (e.g. olive, canola, peanut)
- 1 teaspoon ras el hanout
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon preserved lemon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- pinch of cinnamon
Directions (serves 2):
This recipe has a ton of ingredients but it actually isn't that much work because couscous cooks really fast, and chickpeas don't require very much attention.
The day before, place a handful of chickpeas in a bowl with a pinch of salt and cover generously with water. Alternatively, cover chickpeas with boiling water 8 hours in advance. Chickpeas take about an hour of boiling to cook after soaking.
First, cook chickpeas by placing in a small pot with water and salt and boil for one hour.
Second, toast almonds. While they are toasting, section oranges (ask me how to do this quickly). Chop cucumber, olives, mint, and cilantro, and set aside.
Third, chop chicken into 1/2 inch cubes (I use pre-cooked chicken, but presumably you could do this with raw chicken as well).
Fourth, mix ras el hanout, cumin, coriander, salt, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon together. Place 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil in a medium sized pot, and heat until shimmering. Add spices, stir, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1 1/8 cups of water and bring to boil. Add couscous, return to boil, then remove from heat and let stand for 1 minute. Add chicken, and let stand for an additional 4 minutes.
Fifth, while you are waiting for the couscous, emulsify lemon juice in olive oil and mix with lettuce. Also, rinse preserved lemon slice and chop into really small pieces, ideally almost a paste.
Fluff couscous with a fork. Add tasty bits, chickpeas, and preserved lemons to couscous, and mix. Serve over lettuce, and garnish with mint leaves.