Salty bits of halloumi, toasted walnuts and shallots bathed in lemon will enliven this simple yet elegant roast chicken and couscous recipe. A dash of red-pepper flakes and a few sprigs of oregano make the dish as fragrant as it is flavorful. This recipe works as a lunch or dinner, and although it calls for chicken, the balance of acid and salt could work well with other proteins, such as fish, tofu, or sliced mushrooms, with adjustments to the cooking time, depending on your protein.
Preparation of Chicken With Couscous, Lemon and Halloumi:
Step 1. Zest 1 lemon into a small bowl. Slice off the top and bottom of the zested lemon so that they’re flat. Place the lemon upright on a cutting board, and, using a sharp knife, thinly slice off the white pith moving down the length of the lemon in sections. Discard the pith and roughly chop the flesh, removing any seeds you come across. Move the chopped lemon (about 2 tablespoons) and any juice to the bowl. Stir in the halloumi, chopped walnuts, sliced shallot, red-pepper flakes and 2 tablespoons oil. Let marinate as you cook the chicken.
Step 2. Pat the chicken pieces dry and season generously with salt. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Place the chicken pieces skin-side down, and cook until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Flip the chicken pieces, and sear chicken to cook further for another 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.
Step 3. Add quartered shallots to the pan and stir to coat in the pan drippings. Lower the heat to medium and cook until golden brown and just tender, about 4 minutes. Add the couscous and stir to coat in the shallot-flavored chicken fat. Add the broth, season with salt and bring up to a simmer.
Step 4. Return the chicken to the skillet, skin-side up, along with any liquid from the plate. Add the oregano sprigs, cover with the lid or seal with foil, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, the couscous is tender and the chicken is cooked through, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat, fluff the couscous and top with halloumi-walnut mixture.
Step 5. Cut the remaining lemon in half, remove any seeds and squeeze over the entire pan. Garnish with a handful of fresh parsley and serve
Step 6. Enjoy!