Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mediterranean Chicken and Creamy Couscous

So. Funny story tonight. I had this whole plan that I was going to make curry. I was really amped up about it because I bought all of these awesome curries while in Zanzibar. All I could think of was spicy creamy curry. 

And I went and bought all of these ingredients and I'm heading into the kitchen thinking YES CURRIES! I even bought a vinho verde to pair with the spicy. And right as I start to prep the ingredients.....

I realize that I forgot coconut milk. Kind of one of those critical ingredients. And it is about a million degrees outside. There was absolutely no way that I would venture back into the crushing humidity just to get coconut milk. 

So it was back to the immediate drawing board. I looked over what I had in the kitchen. Well okay, got some unpitted olives, some fire roasted tomatoes, basil, some goat cheese and some Israeli couscous. 

And thus came the new game plan. I'd go with a Mediterranean flavor profile of tomatoes, olives, and fresh herbs. And combine it with Israeli couscous made creamy with goat cheese, it becomes a complete meal.

And you know what? This ended out being a perfect summer meal. Light and had some good briny and earthy flavors. The combination of the kalamata olives and fresh basil made the dish shine. And event though my original plan had to be scrapped, I'm kind of glad it did.

Mediterranean Chicken
4 T olive oil, divided
1 medium onion
2 green peppers
2 chicken breasts
1 can fire roasted tomatoes
10-12 kalamata olives
1 T red pepper flakes
1 T cracked black pepper
1/2 C olive juice
1 bunch of basil

2 C israeli couscous
2 T herbs de provence or dried oregano or dried basil
2.5 C water
1/4 C goat cheese

Heat up a pan over medium heat and add 2 T of olive oil. Chop the onion.

Slice the chicken into 1" strips.

Add the onion to the heated olive oil.

While the onion cooks, slice the green peppers and cut in half. The piece should be about 1" wide and 2" long. The point is just to make them a bit longer so that they're still distinguishable at the end of the cooking process.

Cook the onions for about 10 minutes or until they are translucent.

Add the green peppers and cook for about five minutes.

Pit and halve the olives.

Add the chicken, red pepper flakes and pepper.

After about 2 minutes add the canned tomatoes and olives and olive juice.  Cover the dish and cook for 10 minutes and then remove the cover and cook for 20 minutes.

In a separate pan, heat up 2 T of olive oil in a pan over medium high heat. Boil the water in a separate pan or in a tea kettle.

Add the 2 C of couscous to the olive oil and toast until browned. Add the herbs de provence after the couscous has been toasted.

Add the boiling water and reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and cook covered for eight minutes. And then leave uncovered and heating for another six minutes.

Separate the basil leaves from the stems and add to the pan with the chicken with about 2 minutes left to cook.

Right before serving, add the goat cheese to the couscous.

Serve with the chicken over the couscous and enjoy!


  1. very clear instruction, nice recipe, thanks

    1. Thank you! I try to be as clear as possible to help out people who want to try cooking!