Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Chicken with Parmesan Couscous, Broccoli, and Sundried Tomatoes

Alright, so I feel the need to ‘fess up to something.  I have no kids, no pets, no yard/garden, a very short commute, and yet, I always feel as if I have NO TIME!  (Let me take a second to mention I do have a full-time job, working at least 40 hours a week.)  How is it possible I can barely find time and energy?  Whatever the reason, that’s where I am.  If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you may have noticed my frequency of posts is down to 1 a week, where I used to post 2-3.  Part of that is finding time & energy to blog, and part of that is finding time & energy to actually COOK!  Sometimes I find myself in a mad dash to cook dinner, and I have no idea what to fix.

More than once Near East Couscous saved me.  You see a LONG time ago (think April 1st), a representative from Near East contacted me about receiving a sample of their products.  I immediately said yes, because it’s a line I already purchase.  After a short time I received their Parmesan flavor.  I was very excited about this, as I hadn’t tried any of their flavors before, just the basic couscous.  Well… life got busy, and the two boxes sat in my cupboard.  One night I had about 20 minutes to throw dinner on the table and I used one of the boxes as a side dish to some grilled chicken and roasted veggies.  Sadly, while that meal was VERY tasty, I didn’t feel it incorporated the couscous in any way that was blogworthy to share.  So, more time passed.

Then, a night last week, I found myself with a the average amount of time to get dinner on the table, but no idea what to prepare for dinner.  I needed to use the two chicken breasts I had set in the fridge to thaw that morning.  I suddenly remembered the couscous, and thought “By-golly, I’m finally going to make something good with this!”  (PS. I am from Kentucky, where people say things like “By-golly”, don’t judge.)  After I quick browsing of their site, I settled on a recipe.  I even had time to make it from downtown Nashville, out to the grocery in Green Hills, back to my apartment (located about halfway in between the two), and had dinner DONE, all between the hours of 6pm-7:20pm.  I KID YOU NOT!  (I know to most of yall this won’t make sense, but to Nashvillians, that’s quite a feat!)

Now, you probably want to know how this tastes?  Well, rest assured it tastes great!!  I used fresh broccoli, so it stayed crisp and bright.  The chicken cooked up fast because it was cut into pieces.  And I already knew the couscous cooks VERY fast.  The combination of flavors balanced, and seemed rich and light at the same time.  Best of all, we had plenty of leftovers, so I could enjoy it more than once!  Because of the balance of protein in the chicken, carbs in the couscous, and broccoli with lots of flavor & fiber, this serving filled me up.  This is something I know we’ll enjoy again.  Especially when I’m in a time crunch!


Chicken with Parmesan Couscous, Broccoli, and Sundried Tomatoes

adapted from Near East recipes
yields: 4 servings


2 Tablespoons olive oil
8 oz boneless skinless chicken breast halves (about 2), cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 cups fresh broccoli flowerets, (you can sub frozen, just be sure to thaw)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup chopped sundried tomatoes in olive oil, drained
2 Tablespoons dry white wine or water
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 package (5.9oz) Near East Parmesan Couscous Mix
1/4 cup (2oz) feta cheese, crumbled


In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and chicken, cook until chicken begins to brown. Add broccoli, cook 5 minutes, stirring frequently, or until chicken is no longer pink inside.

Stir in water, sundried tomatoes, wine, red pepper flakes, and content of Spice Sack; bring to a boil.

Stir in couscous; cover and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes.

Fluff couscous lightly with a fork. Stir in cheese, serve immediately.

(In case I wasn’t clear enough in my post, I was provided the couscous free of charge by the Near East company.  I accepted it to review and offer my honest opinion.  I was not paid to write this post.  I ONLY post about products I can honestly recommend.)

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