Saturday, February 9, 2008

Chicken with Sweet Raisins & Apricots over Toasted Almond Couscous

Without a doubt this is probably the best Rachael Ray recipe I have made to date. The sauce was wonderful with a little sweetness from the dried fruit & just a touch of vinegar for a bite. Once again there were serving size issues, this time with the couscous. We halved the recipe which means we made 3/4 cup of couscous which is a mountain of couscous...next time we'll cut it to 2/3 cup. Rachael's idea of a serving is huge!
chicken with sweet raisins & apricots

3 T olive oil
4 6-oz boneless skinless chicken breast halves
salt & pepper
1 T fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1/2 c sliced almonds
3 1/2 c chicken stock or broth
1 1/2 c plain couscous
3 T chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (we left this out)
2 T unsalted butter
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 T all-purpose flour
12 dried, pitted apricots, halved
1 c golden raisins
2 T cider or white wine vinegar

Preheat large nonstick skillet over med-high heat. Add 2 T of the olive oil. Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper & thyme. Add the chicken to the hot skillet & cook on each side for 5 to 6 minutes.

Toast the almonds in the bottom of a medium saucepan over medium heat until golden. Transfer the toasted nuts to a dish & reserve. Return the pot to the stove top. Add 1 1/2 c of the chicken stock & the remaining T of the olive oil, bring to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat. Add the couscous & parsley to the stock & stir. Cover & let the couscous stand for 5 minutes. Fluff the cooked couscous with a fork & toss with the toasted almonds. Cover to keep it warm.

Remove the chicken from the skillet to a place & cover with foil. Return the skillet to the heat & add the butter & shallots. Cook for about 2 minutes. Dust with the flour & continue to cook for a minute. Add the apricots, golden raisins & vinegar. Whisk in the remaining 2 cups of chicken stock & turn the heat up to high. Simmer the mixture until think. Add the chicken back to the skillet, coat in the sauce, & heat the chicken, about a minute. Serve the chicken & some sauce over the couscous.

Makes 4 servings.

From Rachael Ray 365: No Repeats--A Year of Deliciously Different Dinners (A 30-Minute Meal Cookbook).

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T = Tablespoon
t = teaspoon
c = cup
lb = pound
oz - ounce

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