Marinated chicken with cauliflower couscous is low in fat and carbohydrates but high in flavour. Both the marinade for the chicken and the cauliflower couscous are flavoured with lime and coriander which brings a refreshing zingy flavour to the dish.
This is a perfect dish when you are looking for a meal with light zingy flavours. You will never find me following any faddy diets or food trends on Recipes Made Easy. I am very much against cutting out any one food group on the grounds of health and I am a strong believer in a healthy diet being a balanced diet. Hey! and besides, I enjoy food too much to want to restrict unecesarily the foods I eat. That said, like many, I can sometimes do with restricting calories at times and look for lighter alternatives. I also could probably do with eating more vegetables and less carbs. Calories per se are less of an issue with the rest of my family who are lucky not to struggle with their weight but even so they still need to eat a healthy balance of foods for good health.
A while back I made cauliflower couscous for the first time and was surprised at just how good it tastes. It is remarkably similar to real couscous in texture and when I first served it to the boys they didn't even realise it wasn't the real thing. As a result, I have now made it quite a few times especially when cauliflowers are cheap and plentiful. Like couscous, it doesn't have a lot of flavour in itself, so I have brought it alive in this recipe with the addition of some lime juice and zest and a good sprinkling of coriander. If you don't like coriander you could use chopped parsley instead.
To quicken the cooking time I like to beat the chicken breasts flat so that they cook in just 3-4 minutes each side. This way the chicken doesn't dry out before the centre is cooked through, and they remain lovely and succulent. In addition to the lime and coriander, I have added some chopped chilli to the marinade for extra flavour. I'm a chilli wimp so I used just half a chopped red chilli but you could up the flavour by adding a whole chilli or some of the seeds. An hour marinating is adequate but you can leave it longer if it suits you. So you could put the chicken in the marinade in the morning or even the night before in readiness.
I have given a recipe to serve 4 but it is really easy to halve. Serve as it is or add a light salad or some steamed green vegetables.
Marinated Chicken with Cauliflower Couscous
- 4 chicken breasts skinned and boned
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lime finely grated zest and juice
- 2 tbsp cold pressed rapeseed oil or extra virgin olive oil
- ½– 1 red chilli seeded and chopped
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro)
- 500 g cauliflower florets about 1 large cauliflower
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 125 ml water
- 1 lime finely grated zest and juice
- 6 tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro)
- Place the chicken breasts between two sheets of cling film and beat with the flat side of a meat mallet or rolling pin to flatten slightly. Season well.
- Place the lime juice and zest, oil, chilli and coriander in a shallow dish and whisk together with a fork. Add the chicken, turn each piece so that it is coated in the marinade. Cover, chill and allow to marinate for at least 1 hour.
To make the cauliflower couscous
- Place the cauliflower florets in a food processor and using the pulse button, blitz in short bursts until the cauliflower has the texture of couscous.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan and tip in the cauliflower. Stir-fry for about 5 minutes until it is beginning to turn golden in colour.
- Add the water and season well. Cover with a lid and cook for about 5 minutes until the cauliflower is tender and the water has evaporated. Keep warm.
- Meanwhile, remove the chicken from the marinade. Cook under a hot grill or on a griddle pan for 3 to 4 minutes each side until cooked through (juices will run clear).
- Stir the lime juice and zest into the cauliflower couscous along with the chopped coriander and serve with the chicken.