Sunday, June 22, 2008

Couscous Salad with Chicken and Apricots

From Real Simple Magazine

For the Couscous Salad
1 1/2 cups instant couscous
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus more to taste
1 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, plus 6 sprigs
1 cup finely chopped fresh mint leaves
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 cooked chicken breasts, preferably Spicy Grilled Chicken Breasts (recipe follows)
3 fresh apricots (may substitute nectarines, peaches, or plums), pitted and cut into 1-inch pieces*
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 cup (2 ounces) unsalted pistachio nuts, shelled
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

For the Spiced Chicken
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil

Place the couscous, cinnamon, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper in a medium bowl. Bring 1 1/2 cups water to a boil. Pour the water over the couscous. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork. Stir in the parsley, mint, and 2 tablespoons of the oil. Set aside. Meanwhile, cut the chicken into pieces. In a large bowl, combine the chicken, apricots, shallot, pistachios, vinegar and the remaining oil. Season with the salt and pepper to taste. To serve, divide the couscous among individual plates. Arrange the chicken mixture on top and garnish with the parsley sprigs.
Preparation for the Chicken
In a small bowl, combine the cinnamon, cumin, and tumeric. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with the spice mixture. Season with the salt and pepper and brush with the oil. Heat sauce pan on medium-high. Cook the chicken until cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes per side.

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