Chicken breast with couscous and pickled lemon salsa

Tender roast chicken, flavoursome couscous and a tangy tomato salsa make a great combination in this fabulous recipe from Alex McKay
By Alex Mackay
Chicken breast with couscous and pickled lemon salsa
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 pinches salt, and cayenne pepper
  • 125 g couscous
  • 175 ml water
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, plus a little for drizzling
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 cm piece ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 lemons, juice and zest
  • 1 orange juice, and zest
  • 100 g dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 1 small bunch of mint, leaves
  • 1 small bunch of basil

For the salsa

  • 2 large plum tomatoes
  • 12 dried apricots, finely chopped
  • 1 pickled lemon, cut into small wedges
  • 1 lemons, juice
  • 80 ml extra virgin olive oil


1. Set the oven to 190°C/gas 4. Heat the groundnut oil in a large ovenproof saucepan. Season the chicken breasts with salt and cayenne and fry, skin side down for 5 minutes, until golden and then transfer to the oven and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, to cook through.2. While the chicken is cooking, put the couscous in a large bowl. Bring the water to the boil with the extra virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon of salt, the chopped garlic and the grated ginger. Pour the boiling mixture over the couscous and leave it for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently so that it doesn't set in one big lump. 3. Add the lemon zest and juice, the orange zest and juice and the dried apricots. 4. Stir in two thirds of the mint and the basil. Stir well to combine and season with salt and cayenne pepper to taste. 5. To make the salsa, simply mix all of the ingredients together and add the remaining mint and basil. Season well with salt and cayenne. 6. To serve, spread the couscous onto a large platter, top with the chicken breasts and spoon over the salsa.

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