Chicken with Israeli Couscous, Spinach, and Feta

April 8th, 2010 · 3 Comments

From one of our favorite cookbooks, Cooking for Two 2009 (by Cook’s Illustrated & The America’s Test Kitchen), this is a recipe that we go back to again and again. It’s so good!

Chicken with Israeli Couscous, Spinach, and Feta

Serves 2

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

1/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
2 (6- to 8- ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
Table salt and ground black pepper
3 Tbsp. olive oil
3/4 c. Israeli couscous (see note above)
1 shallot, minced (about 3 Tbsp.)
3 garlic cloves, minced (about 3 Tbsp.)
1/2 tsp. grated zest plus 3 Tbsp. fresh juice from 1 lemon
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 3/4 c. low-sodium chicken broth
6 oz. baby spinach (about 6 cups)
2 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 c.)

1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 200 degrees. Place the flour in a shallow dish. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Working with one breats at a time, dredget the chicken in the flour, shaking off excess. (Sometimes we skip this step.)

2. Heat 1 Tbsp. 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 part of the breast registers 160 to 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 6 to 8 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken to a plate, tent loosly wiht foil, and let rest in the warm oven while prepping the couscous.

3. Wipe out the skillet with a wad of paper towels. Add 1 Tbsp. more oil and the couscous to the skillet and toast over medium heat until light golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in the shallot, 2 tsp. of the garlic, 1/4 tsp. of the lemon zest, and 1/8 tsp. of the pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

4. 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 to 10 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, whisk 1 Tbsp. of the lemon juice, remaining 1 Tbsp. of oil, remaining 1 tsp. garlic, remaining 1/4 tsp. lemon zest and remaining 1/8 tsp. pepper flakes together in a small bowl.

6. Stir in the spinach, one handful at a time, into the skillet and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the feta and remaining 1 Tbsp. 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.

I think the photo above was a double recipe.

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