Sunday, July 11, 2010

Chicken and Vegetables Over Couscous

Couscous is my new "thing".  I'd really never had it before until about 2 years ago when it came with my meal at Restaurant Marrakesh in Epcot... to be honest, that was my first experience with Moroccan/Middle Eastern food... but I was pretty much hooked from that point on.  I really love the flavors, the mix of sweet, savory and pungent that seems to be the base for many of the dishes,  as well as how the blank slate that is couscous ties it all together.  I admit, this one is not exactly traditional, but I was craving couscous and had enough on hand to drum up something close to chicken and couscous dishes I've had elsewhere.... and pretty darn good as well.  I suppose this recipe could be considered on the lighter/healthier side as well... definitely something I need to do more of.

Fair warning, this recipe makes a lot of food, the kids and I ate it for 2 days and I still had a little left to take for lunch.

2 boxes Near East Garlic & Olive Oil flavored Couscous (5.8 oz each)
4 boneless chicken breast halves, cubed into bite size pieces
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium zucchini, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 small bunch asparagus, tough ends trimmed, remaining stalk cut in thirds
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup chicken stock
handful golden raisins

Marinade for Chicken

1 1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbs lemon juice
1 Tbs olive oil

Mix together all marinade ingredients, then toss with chicken to coat.  Marinate chicken 30 minutes to an hour.

Heat a little olive oil in the bottom of a large heavy pan over medium high heat.  Add chicken and marinade and cook, stirring occasionally until meat is no longer pink.  Remove chicken from pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add onions and zucchini to the pan and cook, stirring frequently for about 2 minutes.  Add the bell pepper, asparagus, white wine and chicken stock.  Continue to cook, stirring, until vegetables are desired tenderness.  Add the chicken back to the pan and also add the raisins and warm through.

Prepare couscous according to package directions, serve chicken and vegetables over couscous.

Serves 8 with leftovers.