Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Chicken with Couscous and Spinach

Another one from my new favorite book "Cooking for Two"

Chicken with Couscous and Spinach

Serves 2

Note: Israeli couscous is larger than traditional couscous and therefore must be simmered. Orzo can be substituted.

¼ cup unbleached all purpose-flour
2 (6-8 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
Table salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
¾ cup Israeli couscous
1 shallot, minced (about 3 Tablespoons)
3 Garlic cloves, minced (about 3 teaspoons)
½ teaspoon grated zest plus 2 tablespoons fresh juice from 1 lemon
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 ¾ cups low-sodium chicken broth
6 ounces baby spinach (about 6 cups) (we used frozen not fresh but either would be good)
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about ½ cup)

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat the oven to 200 degrees. Place the flour n a shallow dish. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Working with one breast at a time, dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off the excess.
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Carefully lay the chicken breasts in the skillet and cook until well browned on the first side, 6 to 8 minutes. Flip the chicken breasts, reduce the heat to medium, and continue to cook until the thickest par of the breast registers 160-165 degrees, 6-8 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a plate, tent loosely with foil, and let rest in the warm oven while preparing the couscous.
Wipe out the skillet with wad of paper towels. Add 1 tablespoon more oil and the couscous to the skillet and toss over medium heat until light golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in the shallot, 2 teaspoons of the garlic, ¼ teaspoon of the lemon zest, and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in the broth and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, until the liquid is absorbed and the couscous is al dente, 8-10 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, remaining 1 teaspoon garlic, remaining ¼ teaspoon lemon zest, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper flakes together in a small bowl.
Stir the spinach, one handful at a time, into the skillet and cook until wilted, about 5 min. Off the heat, stir in the feta and remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the couscous between two plates and top with the chicken. Drizzle with the lemon juice mixture and serve.

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