Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Chicken & Israeli Couscous with Tomato & Lemon

Couscous is good....Israeli couscous is delicious. I didn't know there was a difference until I tried an Israeli couscous salad at wicked witch and thought....this is WAY more delicious than couscous...what IS this? So browsing the aisles at Trader Joes last week... I spotted a box of the little balls of heaven and brought them home.

Here was my first (very successful) experiement:

Chicken & Israeli Couscous with Tomato & Lemon
First all my mis en place in a bowl.... onions, tomatoes, garlic and lemon zest...

Then I toasted up the tasty little balls for about a minute...and then took them back out of the pan and sauteed up some chicken until it was just browned...

Then the chicken out and the tomatoes, onions, etc went in until the tomatoes were breaking up and the onions were soft..

I poured in some white wine and let that cook down a little bit before adding in the stock, couscous and some salt and pepper and let that simmer away for about 12 minutes...

The recipe had us putting the chicken back in with the wine, which I did....but in my opinion it led to slightly overcooked chicken, so next time I will put it in way later...and my thoughts have been reflected in the recipe below...

Once the chicken is cooked through and the couscous is soft, I stirred in some frozen peas (that I thawed under some warm tap water to keep from watering down the sauce)...

last but absolutely not least, squeeze a lemon wedge over the bowl after you serve yourself up really makes the me.


Chicken and Israeli Couscous with Tomato and Lemon
Adapted From Martha Stewart Living (January 2009)

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup Israeli couscous
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I only used 1 large breast- cut into bitesize pieces)
1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
2-3 tomatoes, chopped up
3 garlic cloves, minced (1 tbsp)
zest of one lemon
Pinch of saffron- (I didnt have any- so I didnt use any)
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
1-1/2 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 tsp coarse salt
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving

1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add couscous, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl, and return skillet to heat.

2. Cook chicken, smooth side down, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip, and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate, reserving drippings in skillet.

3. Reduce heat to medium, add onion, and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, garlic, lemon peel and cook, stirring frequently, until tomatoes begin to break down, 2 to 3 minutes.

4. Add wine, and cook for 4 minutes. Add stock, salt, and couscous, and stir. Add chicken back to pan...Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until couscous is tender and chicken is cooked through, 12 to 14 minutes. Stir in peas, and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Serve immediately with lemon.

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