Afghani Mourgh (Afghani Lemon & Garlic Chicken) with Mint Couscous

Afghani Mourgh & Mint CouscousThis is a recipe I made on Sunday, and it was delicious!  This is a great recipe for trying out the Salted Lemons, and it was a success.  If you’re like me and only come up with these glorious cooking schemes a few hours before you need it for dinner, you can skip the overnight marinating, and just get it marinating as soon as you can.  It’s a simple dish, refreshing, and a nice change of pace!

TIP:  If you don’t have any fresh mint on hand, take a bag or two of peppermint tea (after all, it’s dried mint in a bag!), tear them open and pour them in.  I used both fresh mint, and 1 bag each (for the meat, and the couscous) for the meal.

Serve this with fresh plain yogurt, and hot peppermint tea.

Afghani Mourgh (Afghani Lemon & Garlic Chicken)

2 lg Cloves garlic

1 Tbs. finely chopped Salted Lemons (OR:  ½ tsp. Salt plus Juice & pulp of 1 large fresh lemon, 3 to 4 Tbs.)

2 C. Plain, whole-milk yogurt

black pepper (amount to taste)

2 lg Whole chicken breasts, about 2 pounds (boneless and skinless).  You can either use them whole, or slice them into strips.

a small handful of fresh mint sprigs, washed and finely chopped (leaves and stem)

1/2 an onion, finely diced

 

Chop up the salted lemons into half-pea-sized bits.  Any juice that comes with it can be poured into the marinating bowl, and add a bit more from the preserves jar if needed.  If you haven’t yet made the salted lemons, then simply add the salt and lemon as above.  Finely chop a couple cloves of garlic, and stir all together.  For a finer mixture, mash them together with the back of a spoon until you have a paste.

Add the plain yogurt & pepper, then the chopped peppermint and onion.

Skin the chicken breasts, remove all visible fat & separate the halves, or slice as you like it.

Turn the meat into the marinade, and stir until well-coated. Cover the bowl tightly & refrigerate. If you thought of it ahead of time, allow it to marinate at least overnight, up to a day & a half. Turn when you think of it.  Otherwise, let it marinade as long as possible.

To cook, remove breasts from marinade & wipe off all but a thin film. Broil or grill about 6 inches from the heat for 6 to 8 minutes a side, or until thoroughly cooked. Meat will brown somewhat but should not char. Once the meat is slightly brown, pour in the marinade and allow it to cook down somewhat.

Serves 2-4

Mint Couscous

2 C. uncooked couscous

1/2 an onion, finely diced

a small handful of fresh mint sprigs and leaves, washed and finely chopped

2 to 2 1/2 C. boiling water

 

In a heat-proof bowl, pour in the uncooked couscous, then stir in the onion and mint; add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour in the boiling water, stir quickly, and cover.  When the liquid is absorbed, fluff the couscous with a fork and test; if it needs more boiling water, or flavouring, adjust accordingly.

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