Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Israeli Couscous with Chicken, Mushrooms, Asparagus and Garlic

A couple of weeks ago we had NRN (New Recipe Night) with our friends Suzi and Wall. Trying to stick to my bridal diet, I emailed Wall a quick email asking him what vegetables he considered edible, to which he replied:

"How about potatoes, corn, green beans, asparagus, peas??, mushrooms?"

Regardless of the fact that only 3 of these 6 choices are actually vegetables (love you Wall!)... I got to work making a delicious dish that would be palate pleasing to my guests....

First I got the mis en place ready....Vital for when you have people over for dinner...if everything is chopped up/cleaned up you can cook when your guests arrive without being completely frazzled!
Here we have:

Olive Oil
A container of baby bellas
1 large shallot, peeled and minced
2 large clove of garlic, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon Herbes de Provence
pinch of Kosher salt and some freshly ground black pepper
1.5 pieces of diced/seasoned chicken, browned on the skillet then taken off and covered with foil before fully cooked
1 teaspoon of butter
2/3 cup Israeli couscous
1 1/4 cups hot chicken broth
1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for sprinkling
Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet. When it begins to shimmer, add the mushrooms and cook, stirring as needed, until mushrooms are tender and just beginning to brown. Add the shallots and garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the curry powder and the Herbes de Provence and saute for one minute, then season with a bit of salt and pepper.

Add 1 teaspoon of butter, allow it to melt, then pour in the Israeli couscous. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, allowing the couscous to toast and brown slightly. Add the hot chicken broth and stir well to combine, scraping any browned bits up from the bottom of the pan. Add the asparagus, the garlic scapes and the leaves from 4 sprigs of fresh thyme. Stir well to combine.

Bring the mixture to the boil then immediately reduce heat to low, add the mostly cooked chicken cubes, cover and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until couscous is tender and most of the broth has been absorbed. Before serving, add in 1/4 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and stir to melt and combine.
Serve immediately, garnished with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese. Enjoy! Yummmmmm!
I just can't say enough how much I LOVE israeli couscous...and this dish had the slight curry flavor, the crunch of the asparagus and the soft deliciousness of the mushrooms. VERy yummy lil weeknight meal!

Recipe adapted from here

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