Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Saffron Couscous and Chicken with Apricots and Chickpeas

The other day I found a Sunset magazine just chock full of great recipes. Before living on the west coast, I thought it quite pretentious that a whole magazine was dedicated to the lucky people living on the picturesque west coast, already drenched in good weather. I mean, I was stuck in the middle of the country and spent more than half of my year in freezing temperatures. Instead of taking weekend road trips to picturesque coastal towns, I drove through traffic. Well, needless to say I have fallen in love with Sunset magazine and become "one of those lucky people." Yay for California :) After having these recipes hanging on my fridge, I finally got around to making them and am quite happy with the results.

I particularly loved this dinner because it required no grocery trips for me. Having quick and easy recipes that can come straight out of the pantry are always a lifesaver during the week. We grilled up some chicken and simmered it with a zesty sauce full of diced apricots, chickpeas, tomatoes and a hint of spice. Though I can't say I love spicy food, there is just something special about the sweet & spicy flavor combination. As a side, we whipped up some saffron couscous from the Sunset magazine article I have hanging on my fridge. While this was yummy (I love all couscous, so am rather easy to please), I think next time I'll add another spice yet to be determined to add a flavor kick.

I couldn't seem to get a great photo, but this chicken is uber yummy and definitely worth a try!

Chicken with tomatoes, apricots & chickpeas
Adapted from Sunset Magazine

1 pound chicken tenders
Kosher salt and black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp coriander
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with garlic
1/3 cup dried apricots
1 tbsp sugar
3 minced garlic cloves
1 can garbanzo beans, drained & rinsed
1/4 cup chopped flat leaf parsley

1. Sprinkle chicken tenders with kosher salt & ground pepper
2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet/saucepan over medium high heat then add spices (cumin through cayenne). Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
3. Add chicken and cook until golden brown, turning once. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. Add tomatoes, apricots, sugar and garlic cloves to the skillet. Return chicken to the pan and simmer until chicken is fully cooked, about 10 minutes. Stir in garbanzo beans and parsley. Cook until beans are heated through.

Saffron Couscous

Also adapted from Sunset, Feb '09

1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp plus 1/2 tbsp butter, divided
1/2 tsp saffron threads
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups couscous
1/3 cup shredded carrot
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/4 cup raisins
ground pepper

1. In a medium saucepan, bring broth, 1 tbsp butter, saffron and salt to a boil. Stir in couscous. Remove from heat & cover tightly. Let stand 10 minutes.

2. Melt remaining 1/2 tbsp butter in a small frying pan over medium heat. Add carrot and cook, stirring occasionally until carrot is lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add raisins and saute an additional 2 minutes.

3. Stir almonds and carrot raisin mixture into couscous, fluffing with a fork.


petite nyonya said...

This is perfect for me to try as I still have half a packet of couscous sitting in my pantry! Thanks!

The Blonde Duck said...

It looks lovely!

LizNoVeggieGirl said...

Those dishes are literally glowing!! So gorgeous.

kat said...

A great combination of flavors here

Gaby said...

this sounds great! I use Israeli couscous and it this recipe sounds perfect for it! I am going to give this one a try!

grace said...

sweet apricots, toothy chickpeas, fragrant couscous. this is perhaps the perfect chicken dish.

Pam said...

What a healthy and delicious meal. I love couscous.

Leslie said...

ohh yum..I love love love saffron!

Katrina said...

What a great looking meal! Sounds de-lish!

Maris said...

Middle of the country...don't forget those of us freezing/sweating over in New York!

Unknown said...

havent tried working with couscous before...but look at them all golden and gorgeous...wanna try :)

pigpigscorner said...

Great colours and wonderful flavours!

Laura said...

Looks wonderful. I love sweet and savory together.

Ashley said...

The colors in that couscous are just fabulous! Looks divine!

Katie said...

Sounds like an amazing recipe!

Kerstin said...

Looks like a very yummy dinner, I love the sweet/savory combo!

Jennifer said...

This looks amazing!!!

Ana Powell said...

Absolutely perfect.
Beautiful pictures x

Emily said...

See? This is like, my idea of the perfect dinner. Everything looks terrific.

I feel the same way you did about Sunset magazine. :)

Elle said...

Beautiful, and mmm, making me hungry! Some cinnamon would be delicious in the couscous, I think.

That mag has great recipes, doesn't it?

Mama Mia said...

ohhh that looks like a wonderful dinner. I don't make couscous often enough. yum