Monday, October 3, 2011

Chicken with Green Olives over Couscous

Chicken with Green Olives over Couscous

This is a North African dish that I highly recommend you try. The recipe is from the Cooking Light Chicken cookbook that I purchased from TJ Max. I really enjoyed the flavors that the olives brought to this dish. Did you know that 85% of the caloric content of olives is monounsaturated fats? The monounsaturated fats in olives helps lower LDL (the "bad" cholesterol) levels and also prevents the buildup of plaque along artery walls. But me mindful that some olives may be high in sodium. So enjoy in moderation.

2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
4 chicken thighs, skin removed
1 cup chopped onion
3 lg garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp minced ginger (I used the ground ginger in a jar)
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp turmeric
dash of red pepper
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
2 cups chicken broth
2/3 cups (about 16) pitted green olives
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
 chopped cilantro, for garnish
Heat olive oil in a skillet on medium high heat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper (I always "wash" chicken with some lemon juice before seasoning), add to the pan, and cook for about 5 minutes on each side until browned on both sides. Remove chicken and set aside.

Reduce head to medium. Add the onion and next 8 ingredients to the same skillet. Season with black pepper. Cook for 5  minutes then add the broth and bring to a boil. Return the chicken to the pan and reduce the heat. Simmer, partially covered, for 15 minutes or until the chicken is done. Discard the cinnamon stick and bay leaf.

The recipe says to put the olives in a saucepan, cover with water, bring to a boil, drain, and repeat this procedure once more. I was reluctant whether or not to do this step. I boiled the olives in water once then decided it was a waste of time.

Add the olives and lemon juice to the chicken mixture. Serve over couscous. Sprinkle with cilantro.

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