Moroccan Rice Salad with Harissa Chicken, Apricots and Chickpeas


01_level_ExLevel: easy

02_cooking_ExCooking time: 20 minutes

03_prep_ExPreparation time: 15 minutes

04_serves_ExServes: 6

Specially created from Amira rice by highly acclaimed food writer and author, Genevieve Taylor.

What You Need


For the Harissa chicken:

  • 1 heaped tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 heaped tsp cumin seeds
  • 50 g roast red peppers (from a jar) or 1 small red bell pepper, roasted and chopped
  • 100 g long red chillies
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • 6 chicken thigh fillets
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper

For the salad

  • 300 g Amira Pure Basmati Rice
  • 1 tsp sunflower oil
  • 400 g tin chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 1 bunch spring onions, chopped
  • 150 g dried apricots, roughly chopped
  • 60 g flaked almonds, roasted
  • 1 bunch flatleaf parsley, chopped
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper

What to do

  1. To make the harissa paste, dry fry the caraway and cumin seeds in a small pan for a couple of minutes. As soon as you smell their aroma wafting up from the pan, tip into a pestle and mortar and roughly grind. Add to a food processor along with the peppers, chillies, garlic, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and tomato puree. Process until smooth and season to taste with salt, pepper and a splash more vinegar if necessary. Use half this paste to spread over the chicken fillets and set them aside in the fridge to marinate for an hour or more, overnight would be fine if you have the time.
  2. When you are ready to make the salad, rinse the Amira rice under running cold water and add to a bowl. Cover well with cold water and set aside to soak for 30 minutes. Drain well. Heat a little oil in a saucepan with a tight fitting lid. Once it is hot, tip in the drained rice and stir fry for 30 seconds to coat each grain lightly in oil. Pour in boiling water from the kettle so that it comes just 1 centimeter above the level of the rice. Stir well and bring up to the boil. Cover with the lid and set the timer to boil for just one minute. Turn off the heat and, without removing the lid, reset the timer for 13 minutes. Remove the lid and fork through the rice grains which will have absorbed all the water and become light and fluffy.
  3. Whilst the rice is cooking, heat a griddle pan, or BBQ, until smoking hot and cook the chicken fillets on both sides until done – about 10-12 minutes depending on the thickness. Remove and chop into bite sized pieces.
  4. Add the cooked rice to a large mixing bowl and stir through the cooked chicken, chickpeas, spring onions, apricots and toasted almonds and parsley. Add extra harissa and salt and pepper to taste. If you feel it is a little dry but has enough of a spice kick, simply add a little more olive oil.
  5. Serve this salad freshly made whilst still warm, or chill until required and eat within 24 hours of making.