Chicken Stew with Couscous

Harissa, a mild chili sauce, brings a lovely warmth to this cosy stew.

1 tbs. vegetable oil
2 medium red onions, halved and thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
sea salt flakes
6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, halved
1/2 cup chicken stock, plus more if needed
6 carrots, peeled and cut into batons
2 celery stalk, cut into batons
1 can chickpeas
1 heaping tsp. harissa
cooked couscous, to serve
toasted pine nuts, to serve

Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion. Cook gently until tender, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cinnamon, cumin and cayenne pepper for a minute or two. Nestle in the chicken, sprinkle with salt and brown on both sides.

Add the chicken stock, carrots and celery, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Check several times and add more stock if the stew seems dry. Stir in the chickpeas to heat them up, then add the harissa.

Prepare the couscous according to the package directions. Serve the stew over the couscous and sprinkled with pine nuts.

Serves 4

Peanut Butter Hummus

Peanut butter replaces tahini in this wonderful version of the classic chickpea-based dip.

2 x 15oz. cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 garlic clove, peeled
3-5 tbs. olive oil, plus more to drizzle
1/3 cup regular peanut butter
3 tbs. lemon juice
2 tsp. kosher or sea salt
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/3 – 1/2 cup Green yogurt

Place the chickpeas, garlic clove, 3 tbs. of oil, peanut butter, lemon juice, salt, cumin and 1/3 cup yogurt in a food processor. Blitz to a nubbly puree. Add more oil and yogurt if the mixture is not creamy enough. Check the seasoning, spoon into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil to serve.

Serves 10

Red Pepper Hummus

Delightful and delicious with crisp strips of red pepper or any crudite.

1 14 oz. tin chickpeas
1 12 oz. jar roasted red peppers
2 tbs. cream cheese
2 tbs. garlic-infused olive oil
1 tsp. lime juice
1 tsp. paprika

Drain the chickpeas and red peppers and place them in a food processor. Add the cream cheese, olive oil, lime juice and paprika.

Whiz into a hummus-like puree, then add salt to taste and perhaps a bit more lime juice if needed.

Warm Spiced Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad with Pomegranate Seeds

This warm and warmly scented side is perfect with roast chicken! Use any color of cauliflower you fancy.

1 small head cauliflower
3 tbs. regular olive oil
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. cumin seeds
1 1/2 cups chickpeas, drained
1-2 tbs. harissa
4 smallish ripe tomatoes, quartered
1 tsp. sea salt flakes or kosher salt
3-4 tbs. pomegranate seeds
2 1/2 cup Italian parsley leaves

Heat the oven to 425°F. Trim the cauliflower and divide into small florets. Pour the oil in a large bowl, add the cinnamon and cumin seeds, then toss in the cauliflower. Tip onto a baking dish and roast for 15 minutes. Don’t wash out the bowl.

Add the chickpeas, harissa and tomatoes to the bowl and toss well. Add this to the baking dish and roast for another 15 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and give a good stir.

Arrange the parsley onto two plates and spoon everything on top, then sprinkle with pomegranate seeds.

Serves 2