My cousin Sarah and her family gave us Alida Ryder's Simple and Delicious Recipe book as a Wedding present. I hadn't heard of her, but the yellow post it note stuck on the book in Sarah's handwriting ensured that it secured itself a spot in my already bulging suitcase back to London.
I love Alida's blog as her food is 'family friendly' and she uses local ingredients.
Ok so maybe I should have paged through to check that it wasn't all too local to South Africa before I feigned absolute surprise at the Virgin check in desk that my bag was overweight.
I looked through it yesterday morning and found this delicious recipe. I also saw it as an opportunity to try the lemon squeezer that Pete's sister Shelly and her boyfriend Gwa gave us for Christmas, which I've been dying to put to use.
Seriously if I don't make one other recipe in this whole book, it will have still been worth bringing it over, just for this ridiculously tasty dish!
I had to amend it slightly as the Sainsbury's nearest home didn't have any butternut, clearly not local enough, and so I substituted the roasted butternut for roasted peppers and it was still phenomenal.
Moroccan Chicken on Butternut Couscous
1 medium butternut peeled and chopped into small cubes (I did two peppers instead)
2 tablespoons oil (I used olive)
2 teaspoons sugar (I left this out)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups quick cooking couscous (make half of this if only for two of you!)
3 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons oil (I did 2 teaspoons olive oil)
Handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
Salt to taste (I didn't use any)
500g skinless chicken breast fillets
2 tablespoons oil (olive)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 Preheat oven to 220c
2 Place the butternut in a roasting tray and add the oil, sugar, cinnamon and salt. Mix everything together with your hands, making sure the butternut is coated in the spice and seasoning. Place in oven and roast for 10 - 15 minutes until edges are caramelised and butternut is cooked. Then remove from oven and set aside.
3 Meanwhile, place the couscous in a bowl and add the stock and oil. Stir with a fork and cover with cling film. Allow to soak for 10 minutes.
4 When the couscous has absorbed all the stock, add parsley and salt, and fork everything through. Add butternut (or roasted peppers) to couscous.
5 Slice chicken fillets into strips and combine with oil, lemon juice and spices.
6 Fry the chicken in a hot frying pan until golden brown and cooked through. I threw all the chicken with the oil, lemon juice and spice mix into a half a teaspoon of oil in pan, and it cooked away in the sauce.
7 Serve the chicken on top of couscous, and devour.
This my friends, is absolutely delicious and quick. Next time you are groaning at the thought of what to make as a quick and tasty dinner with some wholesome ingredients, and wandering exhaustedly down the shopping aisles - this is what you are going to make...
And then these days, because of marvellous things like Twitter, and how you can tell the author of the book how much you loved her recipe. I did. And she replied.
How lovely does she seem?? You can also visit her gorgeous Simply-Delicious blog here.
I can''t wait to make more of her dishes..