Is it safe to start cooking hot meals again without melting away in the kitchen? I guess it sort of is. The end of summer is approaching and with it comes a bounty of jewels: the ripest peaches, tomatoes, and the last blast of edible flowers. Along with it, slightly cooler days coming up make it perfect to chill outside while having lunch or even for a small everyday dinner.

Today’s recipe requires some cooking, but you won’t slave away in the kitchen – so you can go out and enjoy the rest of the day. The best part is you only need to get an already roasted chicken from your local rotisserie or market and just add this vibrantly lemony rub to it (I explain how in the recipe). I loaded the couscous with juicy tomatoes, apricots, fresh herbs and other tasty bits, but you can also use anything that’s at its peak in your market. Couscous is super-versatile, so there’s no rules here other than to make it tasty!

This is a great entertaining recipe that you can make in advance and heat up on the day of your event. Or serve it room-temp. Super easy!

Preserved Lemon Rubbed Roasted Chicken & Herby Couscous

Serves 4

You’ll need:

For the couscous:
– 1 cup pearl couscous (you can use regular couscous if you can’t find pearl)
– 1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes, chopped
– ¼ cup chopped dried apricots
– ¼ cup chopped pistachios
– 1 handful cilantro, chopped
– 1 handful parsley, chopped
– ½ red onion thinly sliced
– ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
– Olive oil, salt and pepper to season

For the chicken:
– ½ cup preserved lemons
– 1 small clove of garlic, minced
– 2 tsp chili flakes
– Olive oil
– Freshly ground black pepper
– 1 store-bought rotisserie chicken
– Edible flowers, for garnish

Instructions:
1. Preheat your oven to 350F.
2. Cook the couscous according to the package instructions. Let it cool, fluff with a fork, and place in a large bowl. Add all of the other couscous ingredients, then season with salt, pepper, and a generous drizzle of olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
3. Take the preserved lemons, garlic, and chili flakes, and a generous drizzle of olive oil and put them in a food processor or blender and blend until you form a paste. Season with pepper and blend again. The paste should be spicy, salty, briny and all sorts of amazing. Add a bit of the preserved lemon liquid if you want an extra kick to it.
4. Rub the preserved lemon paste on the cooked rotisserie chicken. Place chicken on a baking sheet and loosely cover with aluminum foil. Place in the oven and bake for 20 min or until chicken is warm and liquid starts to form in the baking sheet. At this point, remove foil and broil in the oven for 3-4 min for extra crispiness on the top.
5. Remove chicken from the oven, cut, and serve on a bed of couscous, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle a little sea salt

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