Mid week Moroccan turkey with cous cous

My Moroccan turkey with cous cous is a super easy turkey recipe for a weekday supper that’s not too spicy for kids and not too bland for grown ups.

Something I’m ever thankful for is that my son enjoys spiced food and so long as I don’t go too crazy with the chilli he will eat food virtually as spicy as my husband and I like it.

This dish starts with a base of garlic and cumin (which isn’t hot) and you can decant your child’s portion before you hot things up to your own taste.

My original inspiration for this came from a long mutated recipe printed out from the Guardian back when I worked in an office i.e. pre-2007. The original had dried apricots, mint and suggested either a meat or veggie chick pea version. I lost the sheet of paper long ago but some guess work from the spice rack I have continued to regularly serve something similar.

You can really play around with combinations with these spices – use dried fruits (prunes with turkey are successful and reminiscent of a “funeral feasts” dish from Nigella’s Feast book), switch meats and vegetables. I generally chuck in what’s in the fridge and admittedly today one of my favourite inclusions, courgette, is absent.

Best of all, this dish tastes wonderful reheated for lunch the next day. If you have no ras-al hanout then substitute with a mild curry powder although this takes the dish away from it’s North African influence.

I’m calling this “mid week” because I have used packet cous cous (the Ainslie variety) as a short cut. I am perfectly capable of cooking cous cous from scratch but keep a sachet of this stuff in the cupboard for nights I’m in a hurry. Moreover this site is a reflection of what I cook at home day to day for dinner.

Moroccan turkey with cous cous

Serves 4

For the turkey
1 small onion, finely sliced (red is good if you want)
1 tbsp olive oil
3-4 turkey breast fillets (approx 100g each), in thin slices
Half a red or yellow pepper, diced
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
400g can of chopped tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ras-al hanout
Finely chopped chilli to taste
Chopped fresh parsley to garnish
For the cous cous
1 sachet of Ainsley Harriot instant cous cous
Half a small can of sweetcorn
1/4 of the finely sliced onion reserved from the turkey earlier.

1. Heat the olive oil in a medium sized saucepan and gently fry the garlic with three quarters of the onion reserving the rest for the cous cous.
2. When the onion is softened add the sliced turkey breast fillet and continue to cook. Add the turmeric, cumin seeds and ground cumin.
3. When the turkey is cooked add the pepper, carrot and canned tomato. When bubbling, reduce the heat to a simmer and leave to cook for ten minutes.
4. Meanwhile, prepare the cous cous according to the pack instructions. Leave covered so that the cous cous can absorb the water fully.
5. Fluff up the cous cous with a fork and stir in the remaining onion and sweetcorn.
6. Serve childrens’ portions of the turkey and tomato mix with the cous cous. Add ras al-hanout and any chilli to the remainder for hardier diners. Top the dish with a little chopped parsley.

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