Tuscan Chicken over Couscous

Tuscan Chicken over Couscous

 

I was cooking dinner recently, at a good friend of mine's house the other day, as I often do. We decided to make something totally different this time, and thus was born this recipe.

I imagine this recipe would be great for a dinner party. The color is gorgeous. The tartness of the tomatoes, sweetness of the onion, smokiness of the chipotles, and the meatiness of the mushrooms is sure to impress! 

Speaking of the mushrooms, the reason I cut them so thick is to change the flavor. If you slice them any thinner they get lost in all that is going on in this dish.

This friend of mine, Kristen, suggested serving it over couscous. She is a genius, because it made the dish even better! If you are not a fan of couscous, you could omit it and serve the chicken over

However, I really do hope you will give it a try. It really ties the whole dish together!

A couple of weeks after this little experiment, my friend asked for the recipe. So, this is for you, Kristen! Enjoy.

yield: 4-5 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, thumbed-out
  • 1 box couscous
  • 3 Roma tomatoes
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 lb mushrooms, sliced 1/2" thick
  • 1/2 cup sweet vidalia onions (quartered and then sliced)
  • 1 1/4 cup crème fraîche (or 3/4 cup heavy cream + 1/2 cup sour cream) Bonus points if you use my creme fraiche recipe!
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 12 oz. can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1 cup spinach, roughly chopped
  • 2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil

Instructions:

Pull the stems out of all your mushrooms and slice (1/2" thick), along with onions and tomatoes 

Spray a cookie sheet and the cooking rack on top, and set oven rack as close to broiler as possible. Set oven to broil. Slice tomatoes lengthwise, and place onto cooking rack, without over-lapping. Place in oven for 15-20 minutes or until shrunken and slightly blackened. Here is a before-and-after to help show you what you are looking for.

Open can of chipotles in adobo sauce and chop in food processor to incorporate chipotles and adobo sauce together. Set aside.

To thumb out chicken: flip chicken breast to the side that isn't smooth, and with your thumbs, open the chicken breast up. Do this by pushing your thumbs into the crease where the bone used to be. You can typically find this by feeling around. Sometimes there isn't much to open up, but that is ok. Here is a shot of cooked chicken breasts to help show where this "crease" would be: 

In a large sauce pan, cook thumbed-out chicken breasts (opened-side up) in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat until internal temperature is 160 degrees and it is no longer pink in the middle. Remove from pan, wrap in foil, and set aside. 

Add butter and olive oil to pan, and set to medium-high. add mushrooms and onions, and sauté over medium-high heat until fully cooked. When you cook mushrooms, they release liquids (or "get wet") and then they become dry. Once they become dry, they are cooked.

Once the mushrooms are fully cooked, remove tomatoes from cooking rack and add to pan. Add 2-3 tablespoons of chipotle adobo sauce (or to taste-remember it is spicy). Add all remaining ingredients from the list except for spinach and basil, and stir over medium heat until it thickens slightly. Add spinach and allow to wilt, continuing to stir, to avoid scorching.

Once sauce has thickened, add basil and cooked chicken breasts and allow them to cook in sauce long enough to heat back up. As the chicken is heating, cook couscous according to directions on package.

Serve immediately over couscous.

 

Here is a pin-able photo for Pinterest (below)!

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