Once we reach the end of Easter I always feel like cooking fresher and lighter meals. Maybe it’s after all the rich family meals and all that chocolate but, just like after the Christmas holidays, I almost feel like I need to reset, foodwise. I need lighter, easier meals that are fresh but still satisfying and tasty. And that’s where the inspiration for these chicken skewers comes from. These spiced chicken skewers are perfect for a lovely weeknight dinner or if you are lucky enough to have good weather, then these are also great for the bbq. I’m dreaming of bbq days, it seems like it’s so far away at the moment, we live in hope!
Right then, so the chicken for these spiced chicken skewers is marinated in a mixture of natural yoghurt and ras el hanout paste, the longer you can leave the chicken to marinate the better, however, 30 minutes works well too. So until the weather picks up I’m using the grill in my oven to grill these, they cook up pretty quick depending on how thick your chunks are. I serve them with a herby, fresh couscous and a lime and coriander yoghurt sauce which really adds a lovely freshness to the warm spices. The chicken is mildly spiced so the kids can enjoy these too, however, if you want more of a kick to your chicken skewers then go ahead and add more paste or maybe add some finely chopped red chilli, please do bear in mind though that I haven’t tried this yet, my girl loves these just the way they are so I usually stick to the recipe.
I usually serve these with a lemon, herb, courgette and pomegranate couscous. This is really easy to make and is nice and fresh with the spiced chicken. You can make this while the chicken is cooking, it’s really that quick and easy. I like to add some sort of raw vegetable to the couscous, as in my experience, the kids don’t even notice the vegetables in this. Courgette seems to be the vegetable I can get away with most. It’s a little bit crunchy but mild enough so the kids won’t notice. Result! You could use other vegetables if you wish, just make sure they work well raw, cucumber or bell peppers finely chopped work well. You could also swap the couscous for quinoa or wild rice if you would like to make this a gluten-free meal. And if you fancy having these chicken skewers for a light lunch then just have them with a nice green salad and you’re done. I hope you enjoyed these as much as we do, don’t forget to let me know how you get on x.
Spiced Chicken Skewers with Couscous
For the chicken skewers
- 150 ml plain natural yoghurt
- 1 & 1/2 tbsp ras el hanout paste
- 4 chicken breast (640g) cut into large chunks
- 1 tbsp olive oil
For the Couscous
- 200 g couscous
- 200 ml boiling water
- 1 small courgette finely chopped
- 80 g pomegranate seeds
- 3 spring onions (scallions) finely sliced
- 1 tbsp freshly chopped mint
- 1 tbsp freshly chopped coriander
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- The juice of one lemon
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
For the yoghurt sauce
- 100 ml plain natural yoghurt
- 1 tbsp freshly chopped coriander
- The juice and zest of half a lime
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 fat clove of garlic minced
- In a large bowl mix together the ras el hanout paste and the yoghurt. Add the chicken then cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- While the chicken is marinating make the yoghurt sauce by stirring the lime juice, zest, coriander and garlic together. Season to taste. Leave in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Make the couscous. Place the couscous in a large bowl, add 200ml freshly boiled water, stir then cover and set aside for 10 minutes. When all the water has been absorbed fluff up the couscous with a fork. Leave to cool.Stir in the courgette, spring onions, pomegranate seeds, herbs, salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice. Set aside until ready to serve.
- To grill the chicken, divide the chicken between 8 metal skewers. Place on a baking tray, brush any remaining marinade over the chicken then drizzle over about 1 tablespoon of olive oil.Place the chicken under a medium to high grill. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes then turn the skewers over and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes.
- Serve immediately on a bed of the couscous with a good spoon or two of the yoghurt sauce, lemon wedges and some fresh coriander.
- Calories listed are for the chicken, are per person and are approximate.
- The couscous comes in at 275 calories per person and also are approximate.
- The length of cooking time will depend on the size of your chicken chunks, so try to keep them roughly all the same size.
- You should be able to find ras el hanout paste in the world food section of your supermarket or any middle eastern food store.
- Ras el hanout is a middle eastern spice mix, it is a mixture of cardamom, cumin, clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, allspice, dry ginger, chilli peppers, coriander seed, peppercorn, sweet and hot paprika, fenugreek and dry turmeric. The mixture can vary and you can make your own blend if you can't find it in your local store. Here's the best link I could find on how to make your own: here
- If you can't find the paste but can find the spice mixture then try adding two teaspoons of the spice mix to the yoghurt for the marinade.
More tasty family friendly chicken dinners for weeknights:
- Spicy Chicken and Asparagus Stir Fry
- Pomegranate Chicken with Beets and Fennel
- Lemon and Garlic Chicken Tray Bake
- Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Tagliatelle
- Easy Thai Chicken Kabobs
If you’ve tried this or any other recipe on the blog then don’t forget to rate the recipe and let me know how you got on in the comments below, I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to see more delicious food.