Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Chicken & Couscous a la Luisa

I have the most beautiful niece in the world! Luisa just turned one month old and she's just precious. As you can imagine, her mom and dad are excited yet somewhat exhausted from all the new things they have to do now like: get up every 3 to 4 hours to feed her, change her diapers, do more laundry than usual, burp and tend to her, and do all their other household chores, run their errands, and walk the dogs. Pheww, I got exhausted just writing this down.

So, you can imagine that they are exhausted and cooking may not be one of their favorite things to do right now. But below is the most easiest and delicious couscous (I created this by collaborating Ina Garten's couscous recipe and the recipe we learned at Rancho La Puerta) and chicken recipe that any new parent wouldn't mind doing. The grilled chicken is a tried and true recipe from Epicurious and it's easy and simple and fast. Combine both dishes and you have Chicken & Couscous a la Luisa! Phrewwww...

INGREDIENTS (makes 4 servings)

  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 cups chicken broth, low sodium
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon kosher salt, depending on how salty the chicken broth is
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 10-ounce box plain couscous
  • ½ cup pignoli nuts, toasted
  • ¼ cup dried cranberries
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped parsley

Melt the butter in a large saute pan, add the shallots and cook for 3 minutes over medium heat. Add the chicken stock, salt and pepper, raise the heat to high and bring the stock to a boil. Stir in couscous and remove from heat. Cover the pan and let it sit for 10 minutes.

When ready to serve, add the pignoli nuts, parsley and dried cranberries to the couscous, stir and serve with chicken.


  • 2½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 large skinless boneless chicken breast halves, pounded to 1/3-inch thickness
  • 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1 lemon, cut into 6 wedges

Place 2½ tablespoons oil, lemon juice, ½ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper in large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken and seal bag, releasing any excess air; turn several times to coat. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Alternatively, chill 1 to 3 hours and bring to room temperature before continuing.

Prepare barbecue (high heat). Brush grill rack with oil. Transfer chicken from bag to barbecue with some marinade still clinging. Sprinkle a little more salt and pepper over chicken and grill until slightly charred and just cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to platter, cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes. When ready to serve, drizzle chicken with a little olive oil, sprinkle a little chopped cilantro over chicken, and garnish with lemon wedges. Serve with couscous. **Alternatively, you can cook the chicken in a skillet if you don't want to grill.


Gracie said...

OMG, she is adorable! Look at that hair!!

Tia Jenn said...

That is my favorite picture! She is squeezable! I am definitely going to try this recipe - sounds great and the key word is "easy"!