February 10, 2013

Toasted Couscous Spring Onion Chicken Salad


toasted couscous spring onion chicken salad

I adore onions - most stinky foods as a matter of fact. This variety (they look like giant scallions with a plump root end) are so bright and not-too-intense (but still oniony) that I'm having a fling with them this week.

And couscous? They might be the simplest grain in the world to cook. You just put them in a bowl, cover with boiling water and wait ten minutes. Done. Sometimes (and this is one of those times) I toast the couscous in a pan to make them more flavorful (as opposed to just taking on the flavors around them, which is what they really excel at).

I fried up some onion slices and lemon rind in the olive oil that I eventually used for the dressing. Worth it for the onion, skip the lemon rind - cool idea but kind of bitter. I shredded leftover rotisserie chicken to give this heft and protein and added chopped parsley for herbaciousness. This is so fresh and good and satisfying. I think I could eat it every day.


Toasted Couscous with Spring Onions and Chicken

Serves 2 for lunch

1 cup plain or whole wheat couscous (I do a mix of half and half...sneaky)
 ½ cup spring onions
3 tablespoons parsley
¼ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 cup cooked chicken (cold or warm)

Heat heavy dry skillet over medium heat. Add couscous and cook, shaking gently, until lightly brown (about 5 minutes). Pour into a heatproof bowl and pour 1¼ cups of boiling water over (until it just covers the couscous). Cover (I use a plate) and leave alone for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice white and light green part of onion and chop parsley. Shred the chicken with two forks (or clean fingers). Uncover and fluff couscous grains with a fork. Add onions, parsley, chicken, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine. Top with fried onion slices if using. Tastes best at room temperature or you can keep it in the refrigerator for a day or two.







The lemon rind is pretty but bitter
(maybe it resents being fried in hot oil).  



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