Cous cous is great as an accompaniment, as I’ve written before, but it can also be a brilliant component to a more adventurous dish. This North African-themed recipe is super simple and perfect for a midweek supper. Berbere is a very hot and very complex spice mix, made up of chilli, black pepper, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds, cloves, Allspice, Ajwan seeds, ginger, cadamom and nutmeg. You can put your own together or take the lazy option and use ready-prepared, such as the one I’ve used in this recipe from Barts.
2 free-range chicken breasts, skin on
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp Berbere North African spice mix
2 red peppers
1 pack Ainsley Harriott Moroccan Medley Cous Cous (containing apple and sunflower seeds)
1. Put the olive oil on a plate and sprinkle the spice mix over it. Dip the chicken breasts, skin side down.
2. Make the cous cous according to packet instructions (pour the cous cous into a bowl, then add 160ml boiling water. Leave for 5 mins, then fluff up with a fork).
3. Slice the tops off the red peppers and scoop out the seeds. Use a tablespoon to fill the peppers with the cous cous. Put the tops back on and transfer the peppers to a shallow baking dish. Wrap some scrunched up tin foil around the bases so they stand up.
4. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4 and cook the peppers until tender, approx. 20-25 mins.
5. Heat a large frying pan, then gently cook the chicken skin-side down for 12-15 mins, turning once. Towards the end, add a knob of butter and baste the chicken, until the skin is crispy and the chicken is cooked through.
6. Serve with the stuffed peppers, drizzled with the pan juices.