Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday: Apricot-Tomato Chicken with Apricot-Almond Couscous

What's my favorite thing about this recipe? There's not a lot of ingredients and it's super easy to make. I tore this one out of a Real Simple magazine four years ago, and our family fell in love with it. We had it every week on our meal plan for about 2 months. Remember to check out the "Change it Up" section below to see what else you can make with this yummy Apricot-Tomato sauce.  

Chicken Recipe

1 TB olive oil
  2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained

1/3 cup apricot jam or preserves

1 TB balsamic vinegar
  2 1/2 tsp salt
, divided
3/4 tsp black pepper

1 4lb chicken cut into pieces or get a mix of thighs and drumsticks (about 1 1/2 lbs each)


1. Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic, cook for 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes, jam, vinegar, 1 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat to medium-low. Simmer about 15 minutes to thicken sauce.
2. Rinse chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Arrange pieces in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Season with remaining salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken. Roast about 1 hour until chicken is cooked through, spooning sauce over chicken once. 

Couscous Recipe

1 10oz box of couscous or 1 1/2 cups of couscous
1/3 cup apricot jam or preserves 
2 TB white wine vinegar

3 TB olive oil

1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
3 green onions or scallions (white and green parts, chopped (our kids don't like these, so we just put them on top of ours at the end)
1/4 cup roasted almonds, chopped 

1. Place couscous in a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 cups of boiling water and stir. Cover tightly with saran-wrap or tin-foil and let stand for 10 minutes. 

2. Meanwhile, microwave jam for 30-60 seconds until bubbling. Add vinegar immediately, then oil, and mix well with a whisk. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Fluff couscous with a fork and stir in scallions and almonds. Add vinaigrette and toss. Serve warm.

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Plan and Prep Ahead

Here are some helpful techniques to make life a little easier once dinner time hits. These tips will especially help those that work full-time and don't have a lot of time to prepare dinner.

~Make tomato sauce ahead of time, keep in fridge in air-tight container, and pour over chicken when needed.
~The Chop almonds and green onions
The chicken dish freezes well, so if you have any leftovers , stick them in the freezer and have them again another time.

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Who likes to CHANGE IT UP?

~Instead of chicken, try spooning this yummy apricot-tomato sauce over pork chops, shrimp or salmon.
~Swap apricot jelly for orange jelly or preserves.

~The Apricot Vinaigrette for the couscous works well with rice or quinoa as well.

~Try roasted pecans or walnuts instead of almonds.


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What is Couscous?


It is a coarsely ground semolina pasta. It is traditionally a staple in most North African countries, but has made a big hit here in America over the last decade.
 There are two types...Moroccan couscous (pictured above) is the variety that cooks quickly (10 minutes or less) and you will more likely find it in your grocery store. Israeli couscous will take much longer to cook and are about the size of peppercorns. The one we use for the recipe above is the Moroccan couscous. There are several different colors too. There's tri-colored (pictured above), whole wheat and regular. If you can't find it, you can buy it online here.


Whole Wheat Couscous (12 ounce) by igourmet.com




4 comments:

Marie said...

Oh my gosh, this one looks awesome. I loooove Real Simple magazine. Also, how much do you think the flavor would change if I left out the vinegar?

The Rhodes Family said...

The vinegar does give it a distinct flavor, but you can try it without. You can probably replace it with any kind of vinegar that you have at home. It doesn't have to be balsamic or white wine vinegar. You should definitely try it!

TnT said...

How much vinegar goes in the chicken dish?

The Rhodes Family said...

Apparently I was tired writing these last night...1 TB of balsamic vinegar. Thanks! I will update the info on the blog as well.

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