Food

Couscous Just the Thing for Chick-Chick

Lemon chicken, an easy summertime dinner from the grill, becomes a bit more interesting when served atop a bed of almond couscous.

The nice thing about couscous, which is eaten by just about everyone in North Africa and the Middle East, is that it can be prepared in minutes. Add some fruit, nuts or herbs, and it becomes a delicious side dish.

Thick chicken breasts will grill quicker if you cut them in half horizontally first. To make a prettier plate, grill the lemons after you've removed the zest, then use them to garnish the serving plates.

Grilled Lemon Chicken

Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 30 minutes

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, about 1 1/4 pounds

3 tablespoons olive oil

Juice of 1/2 lemon

1 large clove garlic, finely minced

Salt

Freshly ground pepper

2 lemons, cut in half

Heat the grill or broiler.

Cut the chicken breasts in half horizontally if they're thick and place them on a plate. Combine the olive oil, lemon juice and minced garlic and pour it over the chicken. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.

Grill the chicken over a medium-hot fire or broil until a meat thermometer reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees and the breasts are lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Place the lemons cut side down on the grill until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes.

To serve, slice the breasts diagonally into 5 pieces. Mound the couscous on each serving plate and place a sliced chicken breast on top. Squeeze the grilled lemon on the chicken and couscous.

4 servings. Each serving: 258 calories; 168 mg sodium; 108 mg cholesterol; 10 grams fat; 2 grams saturated fat; 1 gram carbohydrates; 40 grams protein; 0.06 gram fiber.

Cilantro and Almond Couscous

Active Work Time and Total Preparation Time: 15 minutes

1 1/4 cups chicken broth or water

1 cup couscous

3 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons capers, drained

3 tablespoons grated lemon zest

1/2 cup slivered almonds

3 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Bring the chicken broth or water to a boil in a small saucepan. Place the couscous in a large bowl and add the hot broth. Immediately cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it steam for 5 minutes.

Melt the butter in a large skillet. Add the capers, lemon zest and almonds. Stir until the almonds turn a golden brown, about 5 minutes, then add the diced tomatoes and cilantro. Stir in the couscous.

4 servings. Each serving 246 calories; 442 mg sodium; 23 mg cholesterol; 18 grams fat; 6 grams saturated fat; 15 grams carbohydrates; 7 grams protein; 3.34 grams fiber

SHOPPING LIST

1/2 cup slivered almonds

4 chicken breasts

1 bunch cilantro

Couscous

Lettuce

3 plum tomatoes

MENU

Grilled Lemon Chicken

Cilantro and Almond Couscous

Mixed Green Salad

Crusty French Bread

STAPLES

Butter

Capers

Chicken broth

Garlic

Lemons

Olive oil

Salad dressing

GAME PLAN

30 minutes before: Heat grill or broiler. Cut chicken in half if necessary and marinate.

20 minutes before: Heat chicken stock.

15 minutes before: Grill or broil chicken. Add stock to couscous. Cook capers, lemon zest and almonds for couscous.

10 minutes before: Prepare salad.

5 minutes before: Stir tomatoes and cilantro into couscous. Mound couscous on plates, slice chicken and serve.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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