CHICKEN POMEGRANATE COUSCOUS LUNCHBOX WITH MINT AVOCADO DRESSING

I pride myself on being able to do good things with leftovers.

This lunchbox is no different. I had roasted a chicken over the weekend (as per usual) and it’s always on the Tuesday or thereabouts that you have bits of cooked chicken lying around in the fridge and you don’t really know what to do with it. People are often petrified of reheating white meat for fear of dying so I wanted to come up with a quick and delicious working lunchbox that not only did not require any reheating, but was also all the better for it.

Now pomegranates and avocados may seem like a bit of an eye rolling ingredient request just for a working lunch but these days I have always got both contingents in my Kitchen. I add a lot of pomegranates to my breakfast in the morning (as well as being great for decorating cakes) but avocados are a staple weekend breakfast for me, and this recipe makes good use of an avocado leftover that’s on the verge of giving you the middle finger and jumping in the bin.

Like I said, this recipe makes use of leftover chicken that I had and I do not encourage you to roast a chicken just for the purpose of this lunch. In the absence of chicken, just go total balls to the wall vegetarian and slice up more veg like a red pepper or a cucumber just to bulk out the salad. It has to be leftover cold chicken or nothing.

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Boil a kettle. Put some couscous in a bowl, salt generously, sprinkle over some paprika and a handful of raisins. Cover with the boiler water, put a plate on top of the bowl and leave to soak up. Grab whatever cold chicken cuts you have leftover and rip it to shreds. I use my hands because I’m an animal. Leave to one side. Grab yourself a lunchbox and throw in some salad leaves of your choice. Toss in some mint leaves and rustle everything up so that the mint is distributed throughout.

Halve and de-stone an avocado and scoop out the green flesh into a blender. Add some celery salt (or if you don’t have celery salt, some sea salt) and also the juice of a lime. Add some mint leaves. It has to be leaves and not jarred mint sauce I’m afraid, they have two different cooling herbal notes and this needs the spikier of them both. Put the cap on and blitz to a smooth, runny sauce. If you need it a little runnier, keep adding a tablespoon of water until you get your preferred consistency. Pour this into a separate jar or Tupperware until you’re ready to eat.

Scatter the salad with a handful of pomegranates. If you want to eat now, remove the plate from the bowl of couscous, scatter the couscous on, slather in the avocado sauce and enjoy. But I usually make this for work so after the pomegranates, I put the couscous in a bowl in the fridge to cool and before I leave for work, throw it over the salad.

The main idea is, if you’re eating the salad tomorrow, allow the couscous to cool before you throw it on otherwise the leaves will wilt. Hope that makes sense.

It’s a really luxurious working lunch that literally just uses up bits of nonsense in the Kitchen, but it really does feel like you’ve bought one of those tiny M&S salad trays that cost the equivalent of a house mortgage.

And doesn’t anything with pomegranates sound decadent?

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