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Harissa spatchcock with couscous and preserved lemon

Gourmet Fast with Emma Knowles

By Emma Knowles
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking plus standing
  • Serves 4
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  • 4 spatchcock (about 500 gm each)
  • 1 tbsp harissa (see note)
  • 400 gm (2 cups) cous cous
  • 40 ml olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • ½ Spanish onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
  • 30 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 1½ cups each (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley and mint
  • Seeds of 1 pomegranate
  • To serve: thick natural yoghurt
Preserved lemon dressing
  • ½ preserved lemon
  • 100 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • Juice of 1½ lemons, or to taste


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 200C. Remove neck and cut spatchcock with kitchen scissors along both sides of the backbone. Remove backbone and discard, then press bird flat and transfer, skin-side up onto a baking paper-lined oven tray. Repeat with remaining spatchcock.
  • 2
    Brush spatchcock with harissa, season to taste, drizzle each with a little olive oil and roast until golden and cooked through (15-18 minutes).
  • 3
    Meanwhile, place cous cous in a heatproof bowl. Heat 40 ml olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until onion is tender (3-4 minutes). Add chicken stock, bring to the boil and pour over cous cous. Add butter, cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and stand for 10 minutes. Remove plastic wrap, season generously to taste and fluff cous cous with a fork.
  • 4
    Meanwhile, for preserved lemon dressing, rinse preserved lemon, remove flesh and discard. Thinly slice preserved lemon rind and combine in a bowl with extra-virgin olive oil and lemon juice. Season to taste and add to cous cous, tossing to combine.
  • 5
    Toss herbs and pomegranate seeds through cous cous and serve immediately with harissa spatchcock and natural yoghurt.


Note Harissa is a hot chilli sauce made from chilli, garlic, cumin and good quality olive oil.