Pinchos de Pollo (Grilled Chicken Skewers with Harissa Couscous)

Serves 6

6 boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1 tablespoon dry oregano

1 teaspoon turmeric

Toss the chicken with all the other ingredients and let marinate in the refrigerator for 4 hours (up to 24 hours is ideal). Thread chicken evenly onto 6 wooden or metal skewers. Prepare a grill on medium-high heat and grill the skewers for about 5 minutes per side, until chicken is cooked through.

Harissa Couscous

2 cups dry couscous

2 cups chicken stock

2 tablespoons Harissa (see below)

Put the couscous in a large bowl. Heat the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Stir the Harissa into the chicken stock. Pour the hot stock over the couscous and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Divide harissa couscous onto 6 small plates and top each serving with a chicken skewer.


1 tablespoon coriander seed

1 tablespoon caraway seed

1 teaspoon cumin seed

4 large cloves garlic, unpeeled

4 large red bell peppers

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon sugar

2 tablespoons crushed New Mexico red chiles

Salt and pepper to taste

Stir coriander, caraway and cumin in a small skillet over medium-high heat until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a food processor. Cook garlic in the same skillet, covered, over medium-low heat until tender, about 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Let garlic cool, then peel it and add to processor. Char bell peppers over a gas flame or in a broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in a paper bag; let stand 10 minutes. Peel, seed and coarsely chop peppers. Add peppers, oil, sugar, and crushed red pepper to processor. Puree. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

James Campbell Caruso, “España: Exploring the Flavors of Spain”