This Middle-Eastern dish is sweet, warming and filling


  • 110 g shelled whole almonds (chopped)
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (cut into 2cm chunks)
  • salt and freshly ground
  • black pepper
  • 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.