Friday, April 30, 2010

Chicken Couscous with Fresh Chick Peas

Have you ever seen a fresh chick pea?  I know I hadn't until strolling through the grocery store recently.  Having only experienced them in canned or dried form, I immediately bagged some up.  They're pretty adorable:  little elfin shoe shaped pods that make a little pop when you squeeze them open just right.  The fresh peas looked similar to their familiar counterparts, only light green and a bit more shriveled.  The sign said they could be lightly steamed and eaten like edamame or cooked in dishes like peas.  I decided to use them in a light couscous.  The light bite of the fresh chick peas is a nice change from the usual creamy texture, and is accentuated by the fresh lemon and basil flavors.

  • Combine the juice of half a lemon, 1/4 c. chopped red bell pepper, and 1/2 c. shelled fresh chick peas in a medium saute pan.
  • Season with a pinch of cumin, paprika, ginger, and 1 tsp. salt.
  • Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, for about five minutes.
  • Add 2/3 c. water or broth (if using broth, reduce salt) and deglaze the pan.
  • Bring the water to a boil then add 1/2 c. whole wheat couscous, cover the pan and turn off the heat.
  • Let the couscous sit for five minutes, then add a large handful of roughly chopped fresh basil.
  • Fluff with a fork and plate the couscous.
  • Heat the pan again then add a chicken breast seasoned with salt and pepper.
  • After it sears for a moment, flip it over and add the juice of half a lemon.  You can also use leftover chicken and simply reheat it in the pan with the lemon juice.
  • Once the chicken is cooked through, slice it and serve it on top of the couscous.
This easily serves two, and will also make a wonderful cold salad for lunch the next day.

- Rori

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