April 11, 2015 4:59 pm
Updated: April 11, 2015 5:01 pm

RECIPE: Middle Eastern chicken bowl


Eric Akis, food columnist with the Victoria Times Colonist and author of the ‘The Great Rotisserie Chicken Cookbook‘, shows us how to make a Middle Eastern chicken bowl

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Layering ingredients in a bowl has become a popular way to create a meal. The idea is that you start with a grain, add cooked or raw vegetables and/or a pulse, and follow with a protein. On goes a complementary garnish and a sauce or dressing. This version combines couscous, quinoa, or freekeh with chickpeas, spinach, tomatoes, pistachios, and a mint-orange yogurt sauce. Rotisserie chicken provides additional protein.

Prep time: 25 minutes • Cooking time: 15 to 20 minutes (to cook the grains) • Makes 2 servings

Mint-orange yogurt sauce

1⁄3 cup (80 mL) plain thick yogurt
2 Tbsp (30 mL) orange juice
1 Tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh mint
1 tsp (5 mL) honey
1⁄4 tsp (1 mL) ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Middle Eastern bowl

1 to 11⁄2 cups (250 to 375 mL) cooked couscous, quinoa, or freekeh (see Note), cold
1⁄2 cup (125 mL) canned chickpeas, drained well
1 cup (250 mL) packed baby spinach
6 to 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
1⁄2 cup (125 mL) thinly sliced red or sweet onions
1 cup (250 mL) cooked shredded rotisserie chicken meat
2 Tbsp (30 mL) unsalted, shelled pistachios
1⁄4 cup (60 mL) crumbled feta cheese
8 to 10 fresh mint leaves
Mint-orange yogurt sauce

-In a small bowl or glass jar, combine all ingredients until well mixed. This sauce can be made several hours ahead, covered, and refrigerated until needed.

1. Divide the couscous (or quinoa or freekeh) between 2 shallow bowls. Top with the chickpeas, spinach, tomatoes, and onions.
2. Arrange an equal amount of chicken in each bowl, then sprinkle with the pistachios, feta, and mint.
3. Drizzle each bowl with mint-orange yogurt sauce and enjoy.

Note: Freekeh is wheat that is harvested while it’s still green, roasted, and then dried. Sold as whole grains or cracked, it is smoky and nutty and full of vitamins and minerals. Look for it in health food stores, Middle Eastern groceries, and whole-food markets, and use it as you would rice.

More Global BC recipes are available here

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