Friday, May 4, 2007

Moroccan Chicken with Couscous

Firstly, I am terribly sorry not to have posted in a while. I've been busy completing my Master's defense and thesis. That does not, however, mean I haven't been cooking. I just haven't been sharing.

Speaking of said Master's degree, while here at grad school I have formed a little reading club called The Renegados. We get together and read plays from the Renaissance which deal with, well, unsavory sorts of people. Especially pirates. We also all cook, treating each meeting like a potluck. One of the faculty in our little club brought in this really insanely delicious dish one time, with shredded chicken and apricots, and it was totally to die for. It was just such a delicious combination of tastes -- the savory chicken with the sweet fruit. So I took it home in my tastebuds and recreated it (with a little help from Google), using only 330 calories, or 7 weight watcher's points.*

You'll need:
1 prepared box of couscous (about 2 C.), any flavor (I like the chicken vegetable flavor with this)
1/2 bag of dried Mediterranean apricots (about 3.5 -- 4 oz)
1 C. low-sodium chicken broth
2 packages of chicken chunks
1 T. flour
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 t. cinnamon
Tiny pinch of cayenne (if desired)
1 T. honey (I use clover)
1/4 C. slivered almonds (you can also use roasted soy nuts or pecans)
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. First make your couscous -- just follow the directions on the box. I love couscous. I especially love to say the word, "couscous." It's a cheap thrill. My husband likes it, but he's not as wild about it as me, so I have to cook with it sparingly, or he'll get grouchy. Also, turn a large burner on high heat for your chicken in step 3.

2. Next, bring the apricots and chicken broth to a boil and let simmer on low as you prepare your chicken.

3. Coat a large skillet with cooking spray and set over high heat. Let it get good and hot -- you want the chicken to have a nice browning all over. Toss your chicken with the flour and then into the skillet. Saute until golden, about 5 minutes, stirring vigilantly. Stir in the onion, and reduce the heat to medium, cooking until the onions are good and tender, about ten minutes. Just at the end, stir in the honey, cinnamon, cayenne, almonds, broth/apricots. Season with salt and pepper and serve over couscous.

This was so good. I was so pleased it turned out well. Also, it goes really nicely with either pita bread or a nice crusty loaf. Stephen literally sopped up every bit of his food last night with a roll. Always the mark of a successful dinner.

Tangine Tunes:
"Bring on the Boys" by Punjab MC (nothing like a belly dance in the kitchen to get your creative cooking juices flowing)
"Ai Du" by Ali Farka Toure (This is slow and sexy for your simmering)

*It's come to my attention that some of you like to do the WW thing, which is great, whatever works for you. I like their point system of counting calories simply because I'm too mathematically retarded to keep big numbers (i.e. in the hundreds) in my head all day. Anyway. I'm going to start listing the points value for your convenience. :) Because I care.

No comments: