Middle Eastern Roast Chicken with Pearl Couscous Salad

Midd East Roast Chix 02

It’s almost the end of Ramadan as Muslims around the world will celebrate the end to their month-long fast and abstinence from food, water and negativity with Eid al-Fitr/ Hari Raya Puasa on the 17th July. I’ve always been in awe of my muslim friends’ strength and endurance for being able to endure abstinence with such grace.

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This hearty meal of easy roast chicken and couscous salad would be wonderful for iftar as it is simple to prepare, very delicious and can be doubled or tripled in volume to feed a large family breaking fast at sunset.

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It is also a good dinner party dish as the overnight marination does wonders for its flavour and within an hour, you have a feast with minimal preparations.

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I get my sumac, pomegranate molasses, harissa and other middle eastern supplies from Zac’s Butchery and Deli , Jones the Grocer outlets or Mustaffa in Singapore. Any good Middle Eastern provisions shop should have these ingredients.

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The roast chicken exudes a slightly sour and sweet flavour from the addition of the pomegranate molasses and sumac (a sour berry spice) and is balanced with the spiciness from the harissa. With the additional roasting time, the top of the chicken pieces become crispy. I love how the onions caramelise while roasting and yet they remain soft and delicious as they soak up the chicken juices while they’re roasting. Despite a slightly longer roasting time, the chicken remains moist and just drops off the bone when it’s cut into as covering the pan with foil while it’s roasting in its own steam keeps it from drying out. You could serve the roast chicken and its juices over mashed potato or simple toast some country bread and dip into the rich broth. You just can’t go wrong with this roast chicken. So delicious!

Middle Eastern Roast Chicken with Pearl Couscous Salad

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Time: 50mins + Overnight Marination
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Midd East Roast Chix 04

Ingredients

  • 1 kg/ 2lbs chicken thighs/drumsticks, pricked all over with a fork
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-4 tbsp harissa paste (adjust according to how spicy your paste is)
  • 3 tsp ginger-garlic paste (equal measures of ginger and garlic)
  • 1 tsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1-2 cups water, low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 large red onions, quartered

Directions

1. Mix all ingredients, except the water/low-sodium chicken stock and onions, in a bowl.

2. In a large ziplock bag, put the chicken and marinade and massage the chicken until all the marinade coats the chicken pieces. Marinate overnight or for at least 4 hours.

3. Remove marinated chicken from the fridge at least 45 mins before cooking.

4. In a large roasting tray, empty entire content of ziplock bag onto tray. Evenly space out the chicken and place quartered onions in between chicken pieces.

5. Pour about 1 -2 cups of water into the tray so that the the water level reaches halfway up the chicken pieces.

6. Sprinkle some sea salt flakes over the chicken pieces and cover with aluminium foil. In a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F, bake for 25 minutes.

7. After 20 minutes, remove aluminium foil and check to see that there is still some liquid in the tray. Pour a few tablespoonfuls of water more if needed.

8. Turn up the oven temperature to 200°C/390°F and return roasting tray to the top rack of the oven for another 15- 20 min until chicken is fully cooked and crispy on top.

9. Serve with rice or couscous salad (scroll down page) and yoghurt.

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Pearl Couscous Salad

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Time: 20mins
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Midd East Roast Chix 06

Ingredients

  • 1 -2 cups pearl couscous (allow about 1/4 – 1/2 cup per serving)
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • Salt Pepper
  • 1 Red/Yellow/Orange  Pepper/Capsicum, diced
  • Telegraph cucumber, diced
  • Handful of fresh Coriander, Parsley & Mint, roughly chopped

Directions

1. Cook couscous as you would cook pasta.

2. Drain the couscous and immediately season with olive oil, salt, pepper and whatever spices you’d like to add while it is hot.

3. Toss with diced peppers, cucumbers and herbs. Serve.

24 Comments Add yours

  1. postdot says:

    Reblogged this on PostDot.

    Like

  2. vanyadhanya says:

    This looks really delicious

    Like

    1. Vasun says:

      Thanks! It was really delicious when I ate it 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. cmblake6 says:

    Reblogged this on Cmblake6's Weblog and commented:
    Or, how about this for an idea?

    Like

  4. xoamys says:

    Yum, this looks so delicious!

    xx Hanna

    http://www.xoamys.com

    Like

    1. Vasun says:

      Thank you Hanna!

      Like

    2. Vasun says:

      Hanna, I tried to comment on your “about’ Page but I couldn’t click inside the comment box. is it me?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. xoamys says:

        Hey! That is so strange! I did check out the about page and all seems to be normal! So wierd!!

        Like

  5. First the dish looks really PRO. It could be served in any good restaurant. Anywhere. Second your blogname would be a really good name on a band. Thinking of become a future popstar? ☺

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vasun says:

      Thanks Svenskaresebloggen! Perhaps if this blogging thing doesn’t work out, then I might consider a band. A heavy metal band named ‘Cupcakes & Curries’ sounds about right, ya?

      Like

    2. Vasun says:

      btw, where are you from? One of the Nordic countries?

      Like

      1. Jupp Stockholm Sweden But at the moment i travel ☺

        Like

  6. This looks brilliant!!! Love your site – will definitely be looking to your recipes for inspiration. My brother and his wofe are moving to Singapore this weekend so very topical – I’ve lived overseas for years in Asia and the Middle East, would love you to have a look and return ‘follow’? mollyrogerscooks.wordpress.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vasun says:

      Thanks Molly! Hope your brother & sis in-law enjoy their Singaporean stay 🙂 Will def have a look at your site! cheers!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Marla says:

    This looks so delicious….beautiful photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vasun says:

      Thanks Marla! 🙂

      Like

  8. Shanthini says:

    Reblogged this on freespiritfood and commented:
    This looks like a delicious combination of spices and flavours! Can’t wait to try the recipe and be transported to the Middle East!

    Like

  9. honey bee says:

    Looks yummy
    A good one

    Like

    1. Vasun says:

      Thanks Kanmani 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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