I would first like to apologize for not posting in almost 2 weeks. We have had some hiccups with the house and I’ve had my main focus on those. Hopefully, we won’t be having many more hiccups and I can get back to blogging. Now, onto the food.
This dish is full of flavors. My favorite one being the fennel. I LOVE fennel! And anytime I can use it in a dish, I will. For those not familiar with it, it’s got a licorice taste. I personally don’t like the candy licorice, but fennel makes me swoon. I could go on and on about fennel, but there are other elements to the dish too. The couscous gets cooked in chicken broth and orange juice to give a wonderful flavor. The chicken gets a great browned exterior from the dredging in flour. But what’s best of all about this whole thing is that it’s all done 1 skillet! No need to dirty several pans. I am looking forward to making this recipe again. Enjoy!
Chicken and Couscous with Fennel and Orange:
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, tenderloins removed and breasts trimmed. (I bought cutlets and used 6 cutlets)
- 1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- Salt and ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced thin
- 1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored and sliced thin
- 1 cup plain couscous
- 3 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 1 tbs)
- Cayenne Pepper
- 1 cup orange juice
- 3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro leaves
- If you are not using cutlets, pound each chicken breast between 2 sheets of plastic wrap to a uniform 1/2 inch thickness. Place the flour in a shallow dish. Pat the chicken breasts dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Working with 1 chicken breast at a time, dredge in the flour, shaking off the excess.
- Heat 2 tbs of the oil in a 2 inch nonstick skillet over medium high heat until just smoking. Carefully lay the chicken breasts in the skillet and cook until well browned on the first side, 6-8 minutes.
- Flip the chicken breasts over, reduce the heat to medium, and continue to cook until the thickest part of the chicken registers 160-165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 6-8 minutes longer. Transfer the chicken breasts to a plate, tent loosely with foil, and let rest while cooking the vegetables and couscous.
- Add 1 tbs more oil to the skillet and return to medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, fennel, and 1/2 tsp salt and cook until the onion is softened, 5-7 minutes. Stir in the couscous, garlic, and a pinch cayenne and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.. Stir in the 3/4 cup of the orange juice and broth, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to a simmer, cover, and let sit off the heat until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.
- Whisk the remaining 5 tbs oil, remaining 1/4 cup orange juice, 2 tbs of the cilantro, and a pinch of the cayenne together in a small bowl.
- Gently fold the remaining 2 tbs cilantro into the couscous with a fork and season with salt and pepper to taste.. Drizzle the oil-orange juice mixture over the chicken and couscous before serving.