Cast your votes for your favourite performances as you enjoy these spiced chicken skewers with lemony pearl couscous and creamy labneh.






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (58 votes)


  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1.2 kg chicken breasts, cut into 3 cm cubes


Pearl couscous salad

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra, to drizzle
  • 375 g (2½ cups) moghrabieh (Middle Eastern pearl couscous)  (see Note)
  • 500 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 3 firm, ripe tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bunch coriander, leaves roughly chopped
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped
  • 250 g labneh (see Note)

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Marinating time 30 minutes
Resting time 40 minutes

You will need 12 skewers, pre-soaked in cold water for 10 minutes, for this recipe.

Drink match 2011 Cumulus Chardonnay, Orange, NSW ($35)

Heat a frying pan over high heat, then toast paprika, cumin and coriander, stirring for 1 minute. Place into a large bowl and combine with olive oil, oregano and 1 tsp salt. Add chicken, tossing to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make couscous salad, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan over high heat. Add couscous and stir for 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Add stock and 250 ml water, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until couscous is tender and liquid has evaporated.

Transfer couscous to a large bowl, stir in remaining 1 tbsp oil and cool for 10 minutes. Add juice, tomatoes, coriander and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, stirring to combine. Set aside for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, thread chicken onto 12 skewers and cook on a hot barbecue or chargrill pan over medium heat, turning regularly, for 10 minutes or until cooked through.

Transfer couscous to a platter. Dot with spoonfuls of labneh, then top with skewers. Serve drizzled with extra olive oil.



• Moghrabieh, available from delis and specialist food shops, is a type of large couscous from Lebanon and Israel.

• Labneh is a Middle Eastern soft yoghurt cheese from select delis and Middle Eastern food shops. To make your own, strain 1 kg natural yoghurt through 3 layers of muslin. Store in the fridge for 2 days, discarding liquid each day, until yoghurt is thick enough to hold its shape when rolled into egg-sized balls. Store in olive oil with fresh herbs, and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Makes about 10 balls.


Photography Chris Chen