Thursday, September 18, 2008

Israeli Chicken and Cous Cous

This is a dish from my childhood. My mom would make a similar version with a whole roasted chicken. I have adapted the recipe to be made more quickly with boneless skinless chicken breasts. It is a wonderful mix of sweet orange and caramelized onions, salty olives, and aromatic thyme that soaks into the moist chicken. It is great served on a bed of cous cous with a fresh, vibrant salad (ideally with a citrus vinaigrette and feta).

Israeli Chicken

Adapted and used with permission from mom.
Serves 6 or four with a few leftover portions for lunch tomorrow.

3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts
herb and flour mix to dredge chicken in (flour, thyme, oregano, garlic powder etc.)

1-2 large yellow onions sliced into thin half moons
olive oil
1 cup sliced green olives
1 cup sliced black olives (kalamata or even plain black)
1 Tbs brown sugar
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp paprika
6-8 oz OJ concentrate
salt and pepper

Set oven to 200 deg. F

Heat olive oil and butter in a large saute pan. Dredge chicken in flour mixture and add to hot pan. Sear chicken on both sides and then place on a cookie sheet in the oven to stay warm.

Add onions to pan without cleaning it first. If there is not enough fat, add a touch more butter. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute onions over medium heat until starting to caramelize. Add sugar, and most of green and black olives (reserving 1/4 C. total to add in the final minutes), thyme, paprika, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to incorporate. Add OJ and 8 oz. water. Cook with the cover on, but slightly ajar for 15-20 minutes. Add chicken to the sauce mixture and cook with lid on until the chicken is cooked through. Remove lid, add remaining olives, taste for salt and pepper and cook for several minutes so sauce thickens.

Serve over a bed of cous cous.


Deb said...

This looks good! I'm going to try this once I get more time to cook ;)

Danielle said...

I have this recipe written down somewhere and I swear it says to bake it. Is that from the old version when mom was doing a whole chicken? I'm curious if you experimented to find this way . . .

Anyway, I love this recipe. M never wants it because he tends not to like sweet flavors with savory (tho he loves Thai food). But maybe I'll try it anyway. Mmmmm.