• 500 g (1 lb) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon each ground cumin, turmeric, paprika
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon each ground cumin, cinnamon, pepper, ginger
  • 50 g (2 oz) dried dates
  • 50 g (2 oz) dried apricots
  • 50 g (2 oz) blanched almonds, toasted
  • 600 ml (1 pint) vegetable stock, boiling
  • 175 g (6 oz) couscous
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
  • salt and pepper

Cut the chicken into long thin strips, place them in a shallow dish and add the olive oil, garlic, spices and lemon juice. Stir well, then cover and leave to marinate for 2 hours. Thread the chicken strips on to 8 small, presoaked wooden skewers.

Prepare the couscous by heating half the oil in a saucepan and frying the onion, garlic and spices for 5 minutes. Chop and stir in the dried fruits and almonds and remove from the heat.

Meanwhile, put the couscous in a heatproof bowl, add the boiling stock and cover with a tea towel and steam for 8–10 minutes, until the grains are fluffed up and the liquid absorbed. Stir in the remaining oil and the fruit and nut mixture, add the lemon juice and coriander and season to taste.

While the couscous is steaming, griddle or grill the chicken skewers for 4–5 minutes on each side, until charred and cooked through. Serve with the couscous, garnished with pomegranate seeds, lemon wedges and coriander sprigs, if liked.

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