Mediterranean Chicken and Saffron Couscous

This is one of my favorite recipes from the Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats cookbook.  It’s a nice and light dish perfect for summer and only takes 30 minutes to cook!  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  P.S. Don’t be intimidated by the ingredient list.  It’s not as complicated as it looks.

 

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)

1/2 cup all purpose flour

4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3 cups chicken broth

1 pinch of saffron

4 garlic cloves, 1 crushed, 3 chopped

1 cup couscous

1 large red onion, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped

1 15-ounce can quartered artichoke hearts, drained

1 cup dry white wine

10 kalamata olives, pitted, cut in half

1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes

1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

20 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped

 

Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of the EVOO.  Place the flour in a shallow dish, season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper, and cayenne, then transfer the chicken to the dish with the flour, toss around in the flour, then shake off the excess.  Add the chicken to the skilled and cook for 5 to 6 minutes on each side.  While the chicken is cooking, make the saffron couscous.

In a sauce pot, bring 2 cups of the chicken broth to a boil with the saffron, crushed garlic, salt, and pepper.  When the stock is at a boil, add the couscous, cover with a lid, and turn the heat off.  Let the couscous stand for 10 minutes.

Once the chicken is done, remove it from the pan and cover with a piece of foil to keep warm.  Return the skilled to the heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of EVOO.  Add the onions, 3 cloves of chopped garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper.  Cook, stirring frequently, for 4 minutes.  Add the artichokes and wine to the pan, bring to a simmer and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the grape tomatoes start to burst and the sauce has reduced by half.  Give the sauce a taste to see if it needs more salt and pepper.  Add the chicken back to the skillet and warm through.  Add the parsley and basil to the completed dish and stir to distribute the herbs.

To serve, fluff the couscous with a fork, remove and discard the crushed garlic clove, and transfer the couscous to serving plates.  Serve the chicken whole or sliced on top of the saffron couscous.  Top the chicken with some of the sauce and vegetables.

4 servings

 

 

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