Week 75: Spring Vegetable Couscous with Chicken

So I’m not nailing my colours to the mast and saying that spring has sprung, but its not far off!  I’ve replanted my window boxes after killing my winter plants, and as a bonus; some crocuses I thought I’d killed last year have come back out for another year 🙂

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Now, I know this is looking dangerously like the first salad of the year, but it wasn’t planned that way – I’m off to a wedding in a few weeks and tried on my suit.  A pie filled winter has caught up with me.  So when I went to the gym I let my lover in charge of finding something to cook – with strict instructions to find something healthy and spring-like.

I was hoping for lamb but beggars can’t be choosers.

Every chance he gets he reaches for the Martha Stewart book and I have to spend ages scratching my head and googling what a scallion is and converting all the measurements.

To make this for four healthy diners you will need: 3 chicken thighs (skin on bone in, but I didn’t get them that way), 3tbs unsalted butter, 4 spring onions (or scallions if you prefer), 2 strips of lemon zest, 1tbs fresh lemon juice, 300ml of water, 500g asparagus, 50g frozen peas, 175g couscous, 2tbs finely chopped fresh parsley.

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First pre-heat your oven to 230C/Gas 8 and heat an ovenproof skillet up to medium high.  Rub salt and pepper into your thighs and place them skin side down into the skillet.  5-7 minutes on the skin side, 3 minutes on the other side, and then put the skillet into the oven for 20 minutes.

Once the skillets in the oven you have time to finely slice the spring onions.  The book says to separate the green and white bits, and then says when to use the white bits but not the green bits… so I lobbed them all in.  Heat 3tbs of butter in a medium pan and then fry the spring onions for about 3 minutes until they’ve softened.  Bring the chicken out of the oven and leave to cool for a few minutes.

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Add the lemon zest and the water and season with some salt and pepper.  Pop the lid on and bring it to the boil before adding the asparagus and peas.

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With a pair of forks shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces, and as the other pan comes back to the boil stir in the couscous and then add the chicken.  Take the pan off the heat, put the lid back on and leave it to stand for 7 minutes.

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After 7 minutes add the lemon juice and parsley and fluff up the couscous.  Serve.

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This is a recipe that I’m going to make a lot of times this summer.  Its light but filling, I probably won’t always use asparagus (but it was nice to have asparagus that still had some bite left in it, unlike how my mum does it) I might substitute sugar snap peas instead.  This dish is much nicer than the grain salad I made last year, a tasty dinner for a sunny afternoon.  I feel thinner already.

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Martha Stewart’s Everyday Light, by Martha Stewart (Transworld Publishers 2011, ISBN 9780593070529)

Marthaeverydaylight

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