Honey Oat Chicken, Spicy Muhammara & Couscous Recipe
Created by celeb chef Stefan Gates. This innovative and colourful dish is low in fat but packed with a delicious combination of flavours to excite the senses
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Calories are a measure of the amount of energy in food and drink. Your weight depends on the balance between how much energy you consume and how much energy you use up. If you eat or drink more than you use you can gain weight. If you don’t eat enough you can lose it.
Your body wouldn’t function without fat. Fat is an essential part of a healthy balanced diet. It provides fat soluble vitamins and essential fatty acids. But as fat is a rich source of energy (calories), it can easily contribute to weight gain.
On average as a nation it seems we’re consuming too much saturated fat. Eating too much can increase your cholesterol, which is a risk factor for heart disease. Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels, and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Starchy foods like bread, breakfast cereals or potatoes are a good source of carbohydrate and should make up just over a third of the food you eat. When eaten, carbohydrates are broken down into glucose, which is used to fuel cells in your body like brain and muscle cells. Some people think starchy carbohydrates are fattening, but gram for gram it contains less than half the calories of fat. Choose whole grain or high fibre varieties where you can as they often contain more nutrients.
On average in the UK we eat too much sugar. Foods and drinks high in sugars are not needed in the diet. So if you have them, make sure they're infrequent and in small amounts, or you risk tooth decay or obesity.
Fibre is classed as a carbohydrate and you should aim to eat 30g fibre each day. Eating plenty of fibre is good for your digestive health and is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.
All cells and tissues contain protein, so it’s essential for growth, repair and good health. Protein from animal sources such as meat, fish, eggs and dairy products contain all the essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein) needed by the body. If you're vegetarian or vegan, you can get the protein you need through eating a variety of different plant sources such as pulses, nuts and cereals.
A small amount of salt is needed in your diet but too much can raise your blood pressure, which increases risk of health problems such as heart disease and stroke. Adults shouldn’t eat more than about 1 teaspoon (6g) per day – and that includes salt already in the foods you eat, not just the salt you add, so check nutrition labels on food packs.
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- Cook the couscous according to pack instructions, set aside to cool then fluff up with a fork.
- Next, make the Muhammara dip. Mix the breadcrumbs, half the walnuts, pesto, harissa and just enough water to make a smooth paste. Add 1 tbsp lemon juice and season to taste.
- Make a dressing by whisking together 1 tbsp each of the lemon juice, honey and rapeseed oil and pour over the couscous with the remaining walnuts. Finish by stirring in the dill and beetroot, season and set aside.
- Mix the oats with the lemon zest and a pinch of salt and spread out on a flat plate. Pat the chicken dry, coat each piece in the remaining honey then roll in the oats making sure all the sides are well coated.
- Heat the remaining rapeseed oil in a frying pan and fry the chicken in 2 batches for 3-4 minutes on each side until golden and cooked throughout.
- Serve on a bed of the couscous with a generous dollop of the dip.
- This is a cheat’s version of delicious Muhammara: a gutsy walnut-chilli-red pepper dip, which traditionally involves grilling and skinning lots of red pepper. Using red pepper pesto is a shortcut which adds a really interesting set of flavours too.