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    Poussins with apricots and pistachio couscous

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    Poussins with apricots and pistachio couscous

    As Middle Eastern cooks know, apricots are just as good in savoury dishes as sweet. This recipe is based on a Moroccan tagine. You can use dried apricots instead of fresh, but if you do, use less honey

    • Preparation time: 20 minutes
    • Cooking time: 1 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes 60 minutes 20 minutes

    Serves: 4


    • 70g Butter, softened
    • 1 ½ tsp Ground ginger
    • 1 ½ tsp Ground cinnamon
    • 2 tsp Coriander seeds, crushed
    • 3 tbsp Clear honey
    • 2 Garlic cloves, crushed
    • 4 Poussins
    • 750g Plum tomatoes, halved
    • 2 tbsp Olive oil
    • 10 Apricots, halved, stoned
    • 400g Couscous
    • 550ml Chicken stock
    • 6 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
    • A pinch Saffron strands
    • 2 tbsp Chopped coriander
    • 1 Lemon, zest and juice
    • 50g Pistachios, chopped
    • 2 Salad onions, chopped
    • 6 tbsp Chopped flat-leaf parsley
    • 6 tbsp Chopped coriander


    1. Preheat the oven to 190˚C/gas 5. Mix 50g butter with 1 tsp each ginger and cinnamon, all the coriander seeds, 2 tbsp honey and garlic. Rub over the poussins and season the birds inside and out. Put in a large roasting tin and surround with the tomatoes. Drizzle oil over the tomatoes, season and turn to coat lightly; then spoon a little extra honey over them and place in the oven.
    2. After 30 minutes, add the apricots (cut-side up), tucked in among the tomatoes. Dot with the remaining butter and honey and sprinkle over the rest of the spices. Roast for 15 minutes. rest of the spices. Roast for 15 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, put the couscous in a bowl and add 350ml boiling stock, or water, and 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Cover with clingfilm and let the couscous plump up for 10 minutes.
    4. Boil the remaining 200ml stock and stir in the saffron. Pour over the birds and return to the oven for 5–10 minutes, until cooked – when you pull a leg away the juices should run clear. Fork through the couscous and stir in the remaining ingredients.
    5. Serve the poussins immediately, on a bed of the couscous. Put the cooking juices into a jug for people to help themselves.

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    Drinks recommendation

    The sweetness in this recipe suits a versatile, balanced rosé. Foncaussade Les Parcelles Rosé 2008 Bergerac, South of France. Bin 66114; £6.49.


    Average user rating

    4 stars