Friday, December 14

Rosemary-Leek Chicken Couscous

The first time I had ever heard of couscous was actually quite awhile ago in a children's Disney movie, Alvin & the Chipmunks: The Chipmunk Adventure. Its a super cute movie if you haven't seen it. Theodore is trying to order couscous when they are visiting another country. Of course Alvin pulls him away back into the basket of the hot air balloon before the plate can be handed to him. Poor guy. 

Leeks are a rather curious thing too. They were not something I grew up with but I enjoy now. They remind me of a mix between an onion and celery. Anyways this is my take of another Rachael Ray's recipe. She is one of my favorite celebrity chefs. I have made it several times. It was actually the first dish I had ever tried to use white wine in. Any good drinking white is good to use. I usually pick something up in the $5-10 range like a chardonnay or pinot grigio. This quick cooking, full flavored meal only takes minutes to make. Try it! 

Serves 4-5 people.

1 1/2 cup chicken broth or stock
1 Tbs unsalted butter
2 cup frozen broccoli
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, flattened and cut into bite size pieces (approx 1. 5 lbs)
1 or 2 box(es) of plain couscous (approx 10 oz)
2 Tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried parsley (to mimic the fresh herb) 
2 medium leeks or 1 large leek
1 cup of white wine (not cooking wine!)
a handful of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 sprig of rosemary (optional)


1. Heat the chicken broth and butter in a pan with a tight fitting lid. 

2. When the liquid boils stir in the couscous and the whole sprig of rosemary. Put the lid on. Take the pan off the heat and let it sit until everything else is ready to be served. 

3. Heat a large skillet with the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook in a single layer. Sprinkle the salt, pepper, and dried parsley over the chicken.

4. Cook the chicken until browned all over approx 3-4 minutes

5. Cut the tough parts off the leeks top and bottom. Halve the middle (the white and tender greens) to create many small crescent moons. My son loves this since he's obsessed with space right now. It isn't purely aesthetically pleasing though, the moon shape makes the leeks easier to clean. Use a colander and run cold water over them to rinse. Do not skip this step. Use your hands to really swish the water around into the different layers of the leeks for at least 2 minutes. These really need to be washed. Drain the water well. 

6. Stir the leeks into the skillet with the cooked chicken. Let the leeks cook for approx 3 minutes. Add the wine to deglaze the pan, and let it cook down by half - another 3 minutes. 

7. Fluff the couscous with a fork, pull the rosemary sprig out, and stir in the finely chopped parsley. 

8. Serve a couple scoops of couscous and top with the leek chicken mixture. Be sure to capture some of the juices of the wine and the chicken. Its wonderful. 

Enjoy the easiest dish and possibly one of the fastest dinners in the world!! Yes fastest is a word in my house - just ask my 4 yr old. 

From my kitchen to yours!

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