When it comes to grilling, anything goes. Many people stick to popular staples like hamburgers and hot dogs, but just about anything can be whipped up over an open flame. Those who want to try their hand at something more exotic than traditional backyard barbecue fare can try this Spanish recipe for “Pinchos de Pollo (Grilled Chicken Skewers with Harissa Couscous,” which comes courtesy of James Campbell Caruso’s “España: Exploring the Flavors of Spain” (Gibbs Smith).
Pinchos de Pollo
Grilled Chicken Skewers with Harissa Couscous
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.
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.)