I’m having a hard time believing that last weekend was the first time I had ever had Israeli couscous. Oddly enough, I have never been a huge fan of the regular stuff despite loving the similar sized quinoa. This larger couscous (also known as pearl couscous to some) is awesome, it has some bite and doesn’t get lost in the other ingredients. I bought this box at the store a few weeks ago and came up with this recipe over the weekend and I am really glad I did! There will be more couscous to come. Who knows maybe I will even give the other type another try… Maybe.
You will need:
3/4 lb chicken cut into strips or chunks
Lemon pepper seasoning (I use a grinder from Trader Joes)
4 tbs olive oil plus more for drizzling
1 1/3 cup Israeli Couscous
1 small orange pepper chopped
3 tbs diced sundried tomatoes packed in oil
2 cups baby spinach
4 oz. Crumbled goat cheese
1 tbs white vinegar
Season both sides of the chicken generously with lemon pepper seasoning. In a skillet heat the 2 tbs of oil on medium high. Cook the chicken in batches as needed in the skillet and set aside. I cooked 1 1/2 pounds as I was making 2 different recipes with it.
Add 1 tbs of oil to a 2 quart sauce pan. Add the couscous an 1 tsp lemon pepper seasoning. Let the couscous toast stirring regularly to ensure there is no burning. Add boiling water per the package instructions and cover for the amount of time specified on the box.
While the couscous cooks prepare the rest of the dish. Layering here is important to the dish! So please make note. Chop the pepper and pit it in the bottom of a medium or large mixing bowl, add the spinach on top, then dice the warm chicken and put that on the spinach. That will begin the wilting process. The spinach is best wilted but not completely cooked. Add the sundried tomatoes and then top it off with the goat cheese. It is imperative the goat cheese be on top so when you pour the couscous over the dig it melts and essentially becomes the dressing of the dish.
Pour the couscous over top of the ingredients, letting it sit for a minute or two to melt the cheese. Mix everything together and add in a dash of vinegar, about a tbs I would say. Drizzle olive oil and serve warm.
I liked this best the first day I made it, with the warm melted cheese and crisp peppers. That is not to say it has been bad as a cold salad for lunch this week, but there is a notable difference.