Over the past few months, from time to time I’ve seen recipes, usually Mediterranean ones, that have Israeli couscous as an ingredient. Unfortunately, for the longest time, I couldn’t try out any of these recipes as I was having great trouble trying to find the ingredient locally. Israeli couscous, despite popular opinion, is not couscous at all, but actually a form of pasta – it reminds me of acini de pepe, only nuttier. There’s a great article here that goes into the origins of it. I found it locally at A Touch of Earth in the North Market for $4.25/lb.
And occasionally, I like to eat “light” – much more less than I should be, but after the heaviness of last week’s Thanksgiving dinner, I just wanted something simple for dinner – this week has been eating light week, with Cooking Light recipes as the staple for the past two nights, and also with tonight’s dinner as well. Since I had some chicken breast I needed to use up, I decided on a balsamic chicken recipe to prepare.
The chicken had great flavor, which could have been even more improved with a better quality balsamic vinegar – nonetheless, it was still quite excellent – I just didn’t feel comfortable using the “good” stuff ($40+ for a small bottle) for this recipe because of the quantity it calls for. So, if you decide to make it yourself, I recommend using the cheapest good vinegar to make it, something aged should do nicely. I prepared the couscous in a recipe that wouldn’t clash with the flavor of the sauce. The original recipe for the chicken calls for serving it over orzo (which I was out of), and the couscous was a good substitute. I rounded out the meal with some steamed spinach seasoned with just a little butter, kosher salt, and pepper.
Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Balsamic Vinegar Pan Sauce
courtesty Cooking Light
1/2 c. fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 c. balsamic vinegar
2 tsp. honey
1 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
4 (5-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
2 tbsp. finely chopped shallots
Chopped parsley (optional)
Combine broth, vinegar and honey. Melt butter and oil in a large nonstick skillet over low heat. While butter melts, sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Place flour in a shallow dish. Dredge chicken in flour; shake off excess flour.
Increase heat to medium-high; heat 2 minutes or until the butter turns golden brown. Add chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Remove chicken from pan; keep warm. Add shallots, and saute 30 seconds. Add the broth mixture, scraping to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil, and cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 3 minutes). Serve sauce over chicken. Garnish with chopped parsley, if desired. Yields: 4 servings (serving size: 1 breast and 2 tbsp sauce).
Per serving: 269 cal (27% from fat), 8.1g fat (sat 2.7g, mono 2g, poly 2.5g), 34 g pro, 90 mg chol, 29 mg calc, 331 mg sod, 0.2 g fib, 1.7 mg iron, 13.1 g carb, 6 WW points
recipe courtesy InternationalRecipes.net
1 small onion, chopped
2 tbsp. oil
1 c. Israeli couscous
2 c. hot chicken broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Saute the onion in the oil. Add the coucous and stir for a few minutes until lightly browned. Add the hot broth and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes or more until liquid is absorbed. Season to taste.