Middle Eastern spiced chicken salad with cauliflower couscous

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Middle Eastern spiced chicken salad with cauliflower couscous

Main Serves 4 20 min
This dish uses leftover roast chicken to bulk out a veg-packed salad with aromatic spices and lots of fresh herbs for extra nutrients and flavour. Serve the cauliflower it as is, raw, or briefly pan-fry in a little spiced oil for a Middle Eastern taste. If you've a particularly large appetite, you could serve an extra side of veg e.g. a Moroccan carrot or beetroot hummus or salad, some pitta and olives.

Cook's notes

Cauliflower looks just like grains of couscous when blitzed in a processor. If you don't have one, an alternative is to grate it instead.



  • meat stripped from a leftover roast chicken – 2 chicken legs and wings, plus any large pieces on the remaining carcass (keep the bones for stock)

for the couscous

  • 1 small head of cauliflower, outer leaves removed, cut into florets, stalks chopped into chunks
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed or finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ½-1 tsp paprika, depending on your preference for a little warmth
  • 1 lemon
  • olive oil
  • large bunch of parsley, finely chopped
  • large bunch of mint, finely chopped
  • 100g flaked almonds, toasted in a dry frying pan (or oven) until golden
  • 200g dates, pitted and chopped, or use another dried fruit e.g. sultanas, apricots
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 100g salad leaves


Prep time: 15 min
Cooking time: 5 min
  • Step 1

    Pop the cauliflower florets and stalks into a food processor, in batches. Pulse until they look like couscous grains (you can grate it if you don't have a food processor, but it's easier this way).
  • Step 2

    In a large bowl, mix the garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika, finely grated zest from half the lemon and 4 tablespoons of oil. Toss the spiced oil with the cauliflower grains.
  • Step 3

    Heat a large frying pan. Add the cauliflower (cook in two batches if needs be, depending on your pan). Gently stir-fry for 1-2 minutes, to lightly toast them and the spices.
  • Step 4

    Transfer back to the bowl and mix with the chicken, parsley, mint, almonds and dates.
  • Step 5

    Whisk 1 tablespoon of lemon juice with the honey. Gently mix with the salad leaves into the cauliflower. Add salt and pepper, more lemon juice and oil as needed.