Barbecued chicken with sumac, pomegranate molasses and mograbiah
Here I use a whole chicken, butterflied, so it cooks evenly on the barbecue. Alternatively use chicken thigh joints and cook for 10-12 minutes each side.
1.75 kg free-range organic chicken
4 tbs extra virgin olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
1 tbs ground sumac
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp clear honey
2 tsp pomegranate molasses
1 garlic clove, crushed
juice 1/2 lemon
200 g mograbiah or pearl couscous (see tip)
50 g picked watercress leaves
50 g dried cranberries
50 g blanched almonds, toasted and chopped
2 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 tbs each chopped fresh mint and parsley
salt and pepper
Ask your butcher to butterfly the chicken for you. Combine half the oil, sumac, cinnamon and salt and pepper and rub all over the chicken. Leave to marinate overnight. Return to room temperature 1 hour before cooking.
Preheat the barbecue for 10 minutes until hot. Place the chicken skin side up on the barbecue plate, close the lid, reduce the heat to medium and cook for 20 minutes. Flip chicken over and cook for a further 10-15 minutes until the chicken is cooked through (to test skewer the leg meat, if the juices run clear it’s cooked).
Whisk together the remaining oil, honey, molasses, garlic and lemon juice and season to taste.
Transfer the cooked chicken to a board, chop into 8 large pieces (a meat cleaver or large knife is good for this) and place on a large platter with any juices. Pour over the dressing over the chicken and leave to rest in for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the salad. Cook the mograbiah in lightly salted boiling water for 10-12 minutes until al dente. Drain, refresh under cold water and drain again, shaking off excess water. Place in a large bowl, add a glug of olive oil, stir well and leave to cool. Stir in the watercress, cranberries, almonds, spring onions and season to taste. Spoon onto plates and top with the chicken using the beautiful juices to dress the salad.
Tip: Mograbiah is a larger variety of couscous often referred to as pearl couscous and is used in the same way. It is great in salads or can be used to thicken soups and stews. It is available from most larger supermarkets or specialist food stores.