Thursday, May 26, 2011

Coucous with Chicken, Lemon and Olives

I told you this was on the list to make this week!
This is another recipe from The Joy of Cooking. Boy am I glad I joined the crazies the first weekend of Borders' closing. The 20% off deal on this book was nice...

If you haven't figured out by now, I think of recipes as guidelines. This drives the Hubs crazy. He wishes I would just follow a recipe word for word!

I didn't understand the point of browning the chicken in a couple tablespoons of oil, then removing the chicken and draining the oil and then returning the chicken to the pan. So I used less oil instead. And I don't have a dutch oven; I have a Calphalon stock pot similar to the link but mine is all aluminum with a glass lid.

Couscous with Chicken, Lemon and Olives
supposedly 4 servings, but those would be pretty large servings

In a large ziplock baggie, combine:
4 lbs chicken parts, skin removed if desired (I used 1.75 pounds of boneless skinless chicken tenderloins)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 shallot, diced (this was not in the recipe, but I bought a bag of shallots last week, having convinced myself that there were shallots in this recipe!)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground pepper
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp paprika
1/8 tsp saffron (I used turmeric.)
1 tsp salt (I didn't use that much because I knew the olives would be pretty salty)

Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. (I didn't have time for that. I was hungry and tired, so I mixed it all in the stock pot and cooked on VERY low heat for a few minutes.)

Simmer the chicken until nearly cooked through. Add more olive oil if needed, to prevent sticking.
2 c water
1 large leek, thinly sliced
a few sprigs of parsley and cilantro (my cilantro isn't big enough yet to harvest so I only used parsley)

Reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes (closer to 20 if using boneless chicken)
1 preserved lemon, sliced thickly (I used a fresh lemon)
2/3 c cured green olives, pitted and halved (I used about 20 Kalamata olives) 

In the meantime, prepare 2 1/2 c couscous per package directions. (You want to end up with 2 1/2 c of couscous, so it takes a little over 2/3 c dry couscous and about 1 1/4 c water)
When the couscous is finished, transfer to a serving dish (or to your huge Pampered Chef glass bowl). Top with the olives, chicken and lemon pieces. Leave the sauce in the pan and bring to a simmer. Add:
1/4 c lemon juice
2 Tbsp fresh parsley
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro
(Or a squirt of lemon juice from the bottle, and about 1/2 c of fresh parsley)
After it has reduced a little, pour over the couscous/chicken mixture.

Delicious. I need to take less blurry pictures with my camera phone!

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