Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Chicken Couscous

One of the happier outcomes of yesterday's meeting with a dietician was finding out that I can, indeed, still eat some carbs, provided I control the portions carefully. Armed with that information, I decided to try the following recipe, courtesy of Mark Bittman's brilliant, "How to Cook Everything."

(It speaks well of the recipe that I cooked it and my husband's first reaction was still, "Oh, that's delicious.")

Chicken Couscous
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 - 2 lbs chicken thighs (I used bone-in*, so we ended up with slightly less meat)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, chopped
3 T chopped garlic
2 3" cinnamon sticks OR 1 t ground cinnamon
2 t ground coriander
1 t ground cumin
2 c stock or water (I used veggie stock, because we have it coming out our ears, here)
1/2 c raisins (a.k.a. dead grapes. I used golden, because they are almost edible)
pinch saffron threads (if you're made of money, otherwise fine to skip)
1/4 c chopped fresh mint leaves OR 1 T dried mint
1 c couscous

1) Heat oil in saucepan over med-high heat. Add chicken and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until browned, stirring occasionally. (I'd like to tell you how long this took, but I can't.) Drain excess fat, add the onion and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, cinnamon, coriander, and cumin and cook for another minute.

2) Pour in the stock, add the raisins and saffron, add another sprinkle of salt and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to low so that it bubbles "steadily but not violently." Cook, stirring occasionally, about 25 minutes.

3) Stir in mint and couscous, cover, and turn off heat. Let sit for 5-7 minutes without disturbing (no peeking!). Taste, adjust seasoning (it will probably need more salt), and serve.

As my husband said, this could be adapted in so many different ways, with other meats and seasonings. I'm just thrilled that I made couscous and it turned out, not just edible, but tasty!
*Never again. My foodie husband is completely unequipped to deal with bone-in chicken and leaves at least half the meat on the bones. And he knows it. I may have to speak with his mother about this character flaw. Anyway, it's boneless thighs from here on out, unless he experiences a change of...whatever.


Jane said...

I'm putting the marinated veggies here, too, so that I can find them. :)

1c red wine vinegar
3/4c olive oil
2 T salt (yes, tablespoons)
2 sprigs fresh oregano or 2t dried
2 bay leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 qt water

You bring a bunch of veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, onions, bell pepper) to a boil in the brine, then let them cool and store in the fridge.

Elephantschild said...

Picking chicken is nasty.