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Chicken Couscous with Dried Fruit

Chicken Couscous with Dried Fruit
This one-dish meal is perfect for a picnic or potluck for two reasons: It is easily transported and tastes great at room temperature. Make sure to refrigerate until about 1 hour before serving.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lemons
  • 4 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups shredded roast chicken, homemade (see
      related recipe at left) or purchased
  • 1 cup chopped mixed dried fruits, such as pitted
      dates and apricots
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups couscous
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Directions:

Cook the vegetables
Grate 1 1/2 tsp. zest from the lemons and squeeze 1/4 cup juice. Set aside.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm 3 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté until the garlic and onion are golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the cumin and cinnamon, and then mix in the chicken, lemon zest and juice, dried fruits and stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 5 minutes to blend the flavors.

Cook the couscous
Stir in the couscous, re-cover the pan and remove from the heat. Let stand until the liquid is absorbed and the couscous is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the cilantro and the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Toss with a fork to fluff the couscous and distribute the cilantro. Garnish with the almonds and serve. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast Series, Weeknight, by Melanie Barnard (Oxmoor House, 2006).