Rachel Allen was brought up in Dublin and left home at eighteen to study at the world-famous Ballymaloe Cookery School. Rachel is now a busy ...
110 g shelled whole almonds (chopped)
100 ml olive oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (cut into 2cm chunks)
salt and freshly ground
2 onions (peeled and finely chopped)
4 cloves of garlic (peeled and finely sliced)
5 cm cinnamon stick
good pinch of saffron
1.3 l (2 pints) chicken stock
2 tblsp runny honey
400 g couscous
Place the almonds in the casserole dish or saucepan on a high heat and cook, tossing frequently, for 2–3 minutes or until they are lightly browned (taking care not to let them burn), then transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into the dish or pan, still on a high heat, then season the chicken with salt and pepper and place in the hot oil. Fry, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes or until browned all over.
Reduce the heat to medium–low and add the remaining olive oil, followed by the onions, garlic and cinnamon stick. Cover with a lid and cook, stirring, for 6–8 minutes or until the onions are soft and lightly browned.
Add the saffron to the dish or pan, along with the stock, and stir in the honey. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 20–25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the couscous, cover again and cook for a further 3 minutes or just until the couscous is soft, then stir in the toasted almonds, taste for seasoning and serve in warmed bowls.