On Forgetfulness

Welcome to the time of year where life seems to go from 0-60 in an instant.  Ahhh, spring.  You tease us with your gorgeous weather, and bite us in the butt with your ability to rob us of all time to enjoy it.  I barely have a minute to come up for air and catch my breath.  And because my brain seems to have gone out the window along with any semblance of me-time I was hanging onto, I’ve been cooking dinners that have been relatively hands-on each night.

chicken with israeli couscousThis is a terrible plan.

I need to be making things that can sit in the oven for the better part of an hour, while I run around like a chicken with my head cut off do the household chores I need to do.  I do not need to be making things I can stir and fuss over while catching up on HomeFries podcasts (Joy, Tracy, Tsh, I’m so behind!).  When I make things like this, I still try to catch up on chores, and end up forgetting to add the frozen peas that would have added another dimension to my dinner plate.  Oh well.  It was still a pretty darn good meal.  And yes, yes it is resting atop the Joy the Baker Cookbook.

To make Chicken with Israeli Couscous, with Tomato and Lemon, and with or without peas, for four, you will need:

  • 3 T olive oil, divided
  • 1 C Israeli couscous
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (but oh, skin-on thighs would be amazing here; brown them first)
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced thinly
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, sliced lengthwise into 6 pieces
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 strips lemon peel, about 2 inches in length
  • pinch of saffron (obviously optional, who can afford saffron?)
  • 1/2 C dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc is always a winner)
  • 1 1/2 C low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1 C frozen peas
  • 1 lemon, cut in wedges, for serving

Heat 1 T oil in skillet.  Toast couscous for about a minute.  Transfer to bowl and return skillet to heat.  Add remaining oil and brown chicken breasts for 3 minutes per side.  Transfer to plate, reserving juices.

Reduce heat to medium and add onion, and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes.  Add tomatoes, garlic, lemon peel, and saffron, stirring often, until tomatoes begin to brown, 2-3 minutes.

Return chicken to skillet, and add wine.  Cook four minutes, and add broth, salt, and couscous, and stir.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until couscous is tender and chicken is cooked through, 12-14 minutes.  Add peas, and let heat cook them through.  Serve immediately with lemon.

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