Garlic Chicken Saute with Olives and Israeli Couscous with Vegetables

We’ve been having so many late afternoon thunderstorms that I’ve been doing a lot less grilling than usual in the summer. Today, I have another great chicken recipe for you which gets cooked on the stove. It’s great for either a quick weeknight dinner or special enough for company. I served it with an Israeli couscous and vegetable dish that I made up as I went along. It was even better than I expected!

Garlic Chicken Sauté with Olives

Originally, the recipe was called Chicken Sauté with Broccoli, but this time I served the broccoli separately & liked it even more.

  • 1 head of garlic, separated into cloves
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine – i.e. Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Blanc
  • 1 cup low sodium chicken broth
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp cold water
  • 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, halved

Don’t bother peeling the garlic cloves but do slice off the very end where it attached to the rest of the head. Place garlic cloves in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for 5 minutes. Drain & set aside. When cool enough to handle, rub the skins off.

Meanwhile, cut each chicken piece in two. (You could do strips or bite-sized pieces too, but I like them this way). In a shallow dish, combine flour, salt & pepper.  Dredge chicken in the flour mixture, shaking off the excess.

In a large non-stick skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, turning as needed, until browned on all sides, about 7 minutes per side. Transfer chicken to a plate & reserve.

Pour wine into the skillet and bring to a boil, stirring to scrape up any browned bits (this is called deglazing). Boil for several minutes until reduced in half. Add chicken broth, thyme and the reserved garlic cloves; bring to a boil. Add the reserved chicken and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until cooked through, about 10-15 minutes. Transfer the chicken & garlic to a serving dish and cover with foil.

In a small bowl, combine the cornstarch & water. Stir the cornstarch slurry & olives into the liquid in the skillet and simmer, stirring, for 30 seconds to 1 minutes, until slightly thickened. Taste and adjust seasonings. Spoon sauce over chicken & serve with steamed broccoli (or your favorite green vegetable) on the side. The garlic is excellent mashed with your fork and eaten with the chicken or spread on toasted bread.

Israeli Couscous with Summer Vegetables

Couscous is a type of pasta, and Israeli couscous (sometimes called pearl couscous) is larger than regular couscous, about the side of a pin head.

  • 2 cups toasted Israeli couscous (I used a whole wheat version)
  • 1 red or yellow bell pepper, cut into medium dice
  • 1/4 large red onion, cut into medium dice
  • 4 small carrots, cut into medium dice
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup packed basil leaves

Cook couscous according to directions on the package. After it’s finished cooking, rinse under running water to remove the extra starch on the surface. You’ll warm it back up later so don’t worry about the temperature of the water. Set aside.

Cut the zucchini in half crosswise then into quarters lengthwise.  Stand each piece on end and slice off the seeds at the tip of the triangle (you’ll get a trapezoid shape – can you tell I used to teach math?).

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large sauté pan. Add carrots & cook for about 5 minutes, stirring infrequently (you want them to blister a little but not fall apart). Add onion, zucchini & bell pepper.

Cook for 5-10 minutes more, depending on how you like your vegetables (we like them more on the crunchy, al dente side). Meanwhile, cut your basil into a chiffonade (long thin strips).

Add the couscous to the vegetables & stir until thoroughly heated. If it looks dry add up to 2 more tablespoons of olive oil. Turn off heat, add basil & serve. You can turn this into a salad by adding 1-2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar.

What are you cooking differently due to all the thunder & lightening storms we’ve been having? Let me know if you cook my recipes and what you think.


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