Monday, August 12, 2013

Greek Chicken & Couscous *Updated*

It's dinnertime...

So I don't know about you gals but dinner is tough.  Jake has an early bedtime, Josh doesn't always come home from work at the same time, and we need to fit a bath in after dinner is over.  Added to that, something about me cooking makes Jake suddenly need my time, attention, or help.  Baby #2 is only going to add to the difficulty as you moms out there know.  With all of that, we still are committed to having family dinner most nights so I've had to find a few ways to make that possible.

One of those ways is nothing new or revolutionary, it's simply to keep dinner quick and easy.  That's where tonight's dinner comes in.  The chicken gets marinated the night before, then grilled up either on the bbq if hubby is home early to do it, or on the grill pan if he'll be pulling into the garage while I'm plating up our dinner.  The couscous combines a side dish and vegetable in one and is relatively hands off making it perfect for me.  Dinner goes from fridge to plate in about 20 minutes and is pretty healthy too.  Those two factors make this a regular feature on our weekly menus.  I hope you like it too.

I wish I had some process pictures for the Greek chicken for you but I have to be honest, I'm having a tough time with chicken during this pregnancy.  I had to have my husband prep the chicken because otherwise, we might have to stop eating chicken again (we spent about a month and a half off chicken during my first trimester). 

Start out with some chicken tenders in a ziploc bag.  Add some olive oil, red wine vinegar, chopped red onion, chopped shallots (if you don't have a shallot, don't stress, it will still be good), a good amount of oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt.  Once you have sealed the bag, massage it in with your hands and then stick it in the fridge.  Do this a couple more times between when you stick it in the fridge and when you are ready to grill.

 
Now for the couscous.  Personally, I love the bigger smoother texture of Israeli couscous so that is where we'll start.  Here is your lineup of ingredients (whoops, I forgot the garlic powder):

If you can't tell, I sort of love Trader Joe's

We're a smaller family so I just make half the box of couscous but this recipe can easily be doubled to serve more.  The cook time will end up being closer to 10-12 minutes total.  Start out by chopping up about 1/2 of a small red onion (or 1/4 of a bigger one).  Put a little bit of olive oil in your saucepan and heat it up over medium heat.  Add the red onion and cook until it is starting to get soft, then pour in the couscous.  Stir it occasionally until the couscous is lightly browned.



Add in your hot chicken stock (you can use water but chicken stock adds so much more flavor), a few shakes each of garlic powder, onion salt, and white pepper, and bring to a boil.  Once it's boiling cover the pot, turn down the heat, and set your timer for 9 minutes.  Then add your fresh spinach, feta (I use the fat free from Trader Joe's),  and grape tomatoes.  You can chop your tomatoes first,  but Jake isn't a fan and they are easier to pick out if I leave them whole, so whole it is in my house.  Put the lid back on and simmer for another minute or two until the liquid is absorbed.  That's it, you are ready to go.

My boys just eat the chicken and the couscous but lately I cannot get enough of tzatziki (Trader Joe's again) so I put a big dollop on my plate and dip my chicken in that.  You could also serve this with some pita on the side if you are so inclined.


Greek Chicken & Couscous

Chicken:
  • about 1 lb. chicken breast tenders
  • olive oil - just enough to coat
  • 1 1/2 tbls. red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 of a chopped red onion 
  • 2 tsp. chopped shallot
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt 
  • freshly cracked pepper to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp.)
  1. Put chicken tenders in a large ziploc bag.
  2. Combine all other ingredients and pour over chicken.
  3. Seal bag then massage marinade into chicken.
  4. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Grill until cooked through.
Couscous:
  • 1 tbls. olive oil 
  • 1/4 to 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 2/3 cup Israeli couscous
  • 7 oz. chicken stock (hot)
  • garlic powder, white pepper, & onion salt to taste
  • 2-3 handfuls baby spinach
  • 1/3 cup grape tomatoes (whole or chopped)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  1. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat then add the chopped red onion.
  2. After the onion has started to soften add couscous and stir occasionally until lightly golden (about 5 minutes).
  3. Stir in garlic powder, white pepper, & onion salt as well as hot chicken stock.
  4. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 9 minutes.
  5. Stir in spinach, tomatoes, and feta, replace cover and simmer another 1-2 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
  6. Fluff and serve.
Linking up with Tasteful Tuesdays at Naptime Creations