One of my favorite dishes is built on a base of chicken broth-soaked couscous. By itself, it’s got more flavor than water-soaked grains (and so worth doing for its own sake), but I’ve also found that what really makes it is a separate sauce.
I tried to find a light dish that I could prep and eat quickly and wouldn’t sit like a rock in my belly during my late evening softball game. I found this recipe and toyed with it a little bit.
What’s most interesting is that the couscous and the chicken (nominally, the two main ingredients) are the least noteworthy in the dish. Instead, it’s nearly everything else that steals the show, from the “dressing” to the delicate touches of cucumber, tomato, and pine nuts.
- 2 chicken breasts
- juice from 1 lime
- sea salt & black pepper
- 1 can of chicken broth
- 1 cup of couscous
- handful of pine nuts
- 1 small tomato
- 1/4 cup green onion
- 1/2 cucumber
- Italian parsley
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1-2 TBSP olive oil
- 1 TBSP cumin
- 1 clove minced garlic
- Squeeze the juice from the lime into a bowl. I had one handy, but I’m sure that bottled lime juice would work just fine. Add a 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
- Dunk the chicken breasts in the mixture and then grill/broil.
- Meanwhile, heat the chicken broth. Once at a boil, stir in the couscous. Remove from heat and cover. Fluff after 5 minutes or so.
- Chop the tomato and green onion, mince the garlic.
- Peel and de-seed the cucumber. I cut the cuke into quarters, lengthwise, then cut off the middle, seeded segment.
- Toss the pine nuts into a pan and heat, careful not to burn them.
- In a separate pot, heat the rice vinegar, oil, garlic, cumin, and a little salt and pepper.
- Once the chicken is done, cut into chunks.
- Dish out the couscous, tomato, green onion, pine nuts, and parsley, tossing in the chicken. Drizzle with the oil/vinegar/cumin mixture.
Yield: 2 healthy dinner plates.