Sunday, February 27, 2011

February 27: Chicken with Sweet Raisins and Apricots on Toasted Almond Couscous

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
   Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried thyme, chopped
1/2 cup sliced almonds
3 1/2 cups chicken stock or broth, divided
1 1/2 cups plain couscous
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
12 dried, pitted apricots, halved
1 cup golden raisins
2 tablespoons cider or white wine vinegar

Preheat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablepoons of the EVOO. Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and chopped thyme. Add the chicken to the hot skillet and cook on each side for 5 to 6 minutes.

Toast the nuts in the bottom of a medium sauce pot over medium heat until golden.

Transfer the toasted nuts to a dish and reserve. Return the pot to the stove-top. Add 1 1/2 cups of the chicken stock and the remaining tablespoon of EVOO, cover the pot, and raise the heat; bring the broth to a boil.

Remove the pot from the heat. Add the couscous and parsley to the stock, then stir. Cover and let the couscous stand for 5 minutes.

Fluff the cooked couscous with a fork and toss with the toasted almonds. Cover to keep it warm while you make the sauce for the chicken.

Remove the chicken from the skillet to a plate and cover with foil. Return the skillet to the heat and add the butter and shallots. Cook for about 2 minutes.

Dust with the flour and continue to cook for 1 minute. Add the apricots, golden raisins, and cider vinegar. Whisk in the remaining 2 cups of chicken stock and turn the heat up to high.

Simmer the mixture until thick. Add the chicken back to the skillet, coat in the sauce, and heat the chicken, about 1 minute. Serve the chicken and some sauce over the almond couscous.


Today we had some college students over for lunch after church, so I doubled this recipe for them. They seemed to like it pretty well. It was nice and sweet with the fruit, and I liked how there was a lot of sauce to be soaked up by the couscous. The chicken was cooked well and tasted great. I don't have any complaints about it at all. I used black raisins instead of golden ones because I bought some with a picture of green grapes on the front, but they weren't golden :) I changed the fresh thyme to dried thyme. I used cider vinegar. Other than that I didn't change anything.

1 comment:

  1. I could make this with rice and serve it to my in-laws! I'm always looking for ideas for that. We will probably try it soon.