Friday, May 29, 2009



The rain is back, this time with the kind of mid-summer mugginess that forces you to turn on the air conditioning even though it's not really that hot. I await trash and recycling pickup today so I can get out and start filling the bins again with more trash stored in the garage awaiting its turn--it wouldn't fit this time around. Once the garage loses the trash, it will gain as many of the boxes now adorning the rooms in our house as possible. That will be the last staging area before the truck comes on June 18. With boxes out of the house, we'll have room to start filling a few more....

Tomorrow we are having our buyer and her partner over for a little tutorial on how to run this place--what's what in the various gardens, how the water filter system works, the sump pump...all the little things that are integral to smooth sailing here. It's something we had always imagined we would have to do when we sold this place, anyway, and she asked for it before we ever even suggested it. We always said this place needed an owner's manual. We'll give them the overview tomorrow and if they still need written directions, I'll be happy to supply them.

This is one of the recipes I collected last year during an email round robin at Christmastime. That exercise turned out to be more of a success than I'd dared hope it would be, netting several delicious looking dishes. This is among the best. Don't let the bland colors in the picture fool you--the salty shock of the olives and interesting spice mixture create a different sensation with every bite. It's very quick and easy and will become one of our staples. Credited by the donor to Rachel Ray.

2 tsp. olive oil
1 lb. skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
3 medium shallots, coarsely chopped
1 zucchini, coarsely chopped
2-3 cloves to garlic (or to taste) minced
Zest and juice of one large lemon, separated
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
Pinch ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup stuffed green olives, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
10-oz. box instant couscous
1/4 cup parsley, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves. chopped fine

In a skillet with a tight-fitting lid, heat oil over medium high heat. Add chicken chunks, lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper, and sauté until lightly browned, 3-4 minutes. Add shallots, zucchini, garlic, lemon zest, pepper flakes, fennel seeds and cinnamon and salt and pepper to taste. Toss for about 5 minutes, or until chicken is just cooked through and vegetables begin to soften. Add olives and stir to combine.

Stir in chicken broth and bring to a boil. Stir in the couscous, cover pan, turn off heat, and let stand for about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Add parsley, mint and lemon juice, toss lightly to mix, and serve.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like just about everything Rachael Ray makes. Love her meat ball recipe even though to do it right it takes forever. She makes it look simple. This recipe looks quick so I'm really surprised. Will try it soon.