Thursday, March 12, 2009

Balsamic Chicken Over Cous Cous with Baby Spinach


Over the past 7 days I have traveled to 3 cities for work, so I haven't been too creative with dinner or coming up with my own creations. Instead, I'm following recipes.

Last night I made a recipe I have had bookmarked for a while,
Balsamic Chicken with Baby Spinach. This recipe is by Ellie Krieger, a Food Network chef known for her ultra-healthy meals. I made a few minor changes, but still kept this a very healthy meal.
My changes are noted in italics below.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 (8-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 8 ounces baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth, plus 2 more for the cous cous (or whatever the back of the box says for liquid - I used broth instead of water)
  • 1 cup low-sodium canned chopped tomatoes with juice
  • 2 cups whole wheat couscous, cooked - I used regular cous cous and cooked it differently. See below for instructions. In addition to cooking it in broth, I added 2 cloves minced garlic, 2 tbsp grated onion and 2 pinches red pepper flakes.

Directions

After reading Ellie's instructions, I completely changed the order of cooking. I didn't want to cook the garlic with the chicken, but rather in the sauce. Also, I knew the spinach would be completely cold if I followed her directions. Overall it didn't make much sense to me!! What I did is below. For her method, see the above link.

  • Heat olive oil in a saute pan
  • Pound chicken thin and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Dredge lightly in flour, shaking off excess. I like how the chicken crisps when dredged in flour.
  • Add chicken to pan and cook about 4-5 minutes per side.
  • Remove from pan and keep warm.
  • If pan is dry, add just a touch of olive oil. Add garlic to pan and saute 2 min.
  • Add 1/3 c chicken broth and balsamic vinegar, bring to a simmer. I wanted more sauce, so I added a bit more broth.
  • Add tomatoes and their juices and bring to a steadier simmer. Return chicken to pan and let simmer 5 minutes.

Cous Cous

I wanted to give the cous cous more flavor. Instead of cooking it according to the directions on the box, I did the following -

  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a pot.
  • Add onions, garlic, and 2 pinches red pepper flakes. Saute 2-3 minutes.
  • Add 2 c broth (or follow the back of the box for the correct amount of liquid) and bring to a boil.
  • Add cous cous, stir, remove from heat, and cover. Let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

I put cous cous on my plate first and placed the chicken on top. I then poured the sauce over both. The sauteed spinach - baby spinach sauteed for 2-3 min in olive oil - was a nice side.

I loved this. Simple, tasty, and healthy with a lot of flavor.

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2 comments:

madebymel said...

We are incorporating more healthy meals, and I love the flavors of this one!

Laura P. said...

I made this and blogged about it...super yummy, thanks for sharing! : )
http://laurashomecookin.wordpress.com/2009/03/26/balsamic-chicken-over-couscous/