When I’m crunched for time I love making one-pot meals that have a good balance of protein, complex carbs, and fruits and vegetables. This dish is great for when you have company over as well because it serves about 4 people, and you can save the left overs in an air tight container in the fridge for a couple days. I usually make it on fall evenings, but you can make it year round because the ingredients aren’t seasonal.
Prep Time 15 minutes + Cooking Time 15 minutes = 30 minutes
- 1-2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cup Israeli couscous
- 3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1 inch pieces) (I’m a bit of an organic fiend so I usually buy organic chicken breasts and I also find they make dishes like this taste better. You can also skip using chicken altogether and serve this as a vegetarian side.)
- 1 medium sweet vidalia onion (diced) (I like to use vidalia instead of yellow because the sweetness of it mirrors the sweetness of the rest of the dish.)
- 1 garlic clove minced (optional)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (Tip: substitute with 1 tbsp unsalted butter if you want a richer dish more flavorful dish, which is sometimes nicer for a hearty fall meal.)
- 1-2 gala or fuji apples (cored & diced – leave the skin on)
- 1/2 cup dates (pitted and diced)
- 1 cup water (Tip: if you want to enhance the chicken-y flavor of the dish use low-sodium chicken broth instead of water.)
- 1/2 chopped cilantro for garnish (optional)
- handful of sliced almonds (optional)
- Heat a deep pan to medium heat and add olive oil (or butter).
- Once the olive oil has been heated (or butter melted) add onion, garlic, and saute for about 3 minutes until the onion is clear. (Tip: when sweating onions don’t over stir, just occasionally stir them around.)
- Add cinnamon to the sauteed onion and garlic.
- Add diced chicken and cook until white not brown (5-7 minutes) (Tip: to avoid overcooking and drying out the chicken once its white move onto the the next step. The chicken will finish cooking as you cook the couscous.)
- Season with a little sea salt and fresh ground pepper
- Add diced apple and dates and saute for about 1 minute
- Add couscous and roast dry for about 1 minute
- Add about 1 cup water to the couscous (or as directed on the package of couscous), may need more water depending on how thick you want the mixture to be.
- Cook until couscous is done.
- If you want add a little more texture to the dish throw in a handful of sliced almonds once the couscous is done cooking.
- I know not everyone loves cilantro so you can leave it out, or use it as a garnish by adding it once you’re done cooking and right before you serve the dish.
You can serve this dish with a light salad or steamed green beans, but I find that its a pretty balanced meal on its own. Bon Apetit