SYRIAN CHICKEN WITH GIANT COUSCOUS

INGREDIENTS
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 lb / 1 kg chicken thigh fillets, bone in and skin on (4 to 5 pieces) (see notes)
Chicken Spices
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Black pepper
Sauce
  • 1½ tbsp fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, halved and finely sliced
  • 2 birds eye chilis, finely chopped (or to taste) (see notes)
  • ¼ cup (combined) mint and coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 14 oz / 400 g canned crushed tomato
  • 1 cup chicken stock / broth
  • ⅛ tsp saffron powder (see notes)
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 3 thyme sprigs or 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • ¼ cup dried currants or sultanas (optional) (see notes)
To Serve
  • 8 oz / 250 g giant couscous (Israeli or Pearl Couscous)
  • Yoghurt (optional)
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
  2. Place chicken on a plate or in a large bowl. Sprinkle with Chicken Spices and use your hands to coat the chicken.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large, oven proof fry pan over high heat.
  4. Add chicken, skin side down, and sear until the skin is nicely browned. Turn chicken over and cook the other side until browned. Remove chicken from pan. Drain pan of excess oil.
  5. Add onion, garlic, ginger and chili into the pan. Saute for 2 minutes until the onion is translucent and starting to brown.
  6. Add canned tomato, chicken stock/broth, saffron powder, cumin powder and thyme. Bring to simmer, then turn the stove off. Nestle the chicken into the tomato broth, then cover with foil (or lid) and place into the oven. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, cook the Giant Couscous according to packet instructions. Usually it just needs to be boiled in salted water for around 4 minutes, then drain it.
  8. When the chicken is dark golden brown and cooked, remove from oven. Stir through dried currents (if using), lemon juice and half the mint and coriander. Then sprinkle over remaining mint and coriander.
  9. Serve on Giant Couscous with a dollop of yoghurt, if using.