Thursday, August 19, 2010

Challenge: Curried Couscous

Okay, okay, so this isn't actually challenging at all. The challenging part was that I had never made couscous before, and I can't exactly remember eating it either. So it was adventurous for me on that account, but that's it. And this is my blog, so there.

And, if it weren't a challenge, I wouldn't actually be posting it, because I didn't think it was that good. The flavors fell flat in my opinion. And yes, it could have been the fact that I didn't have any green onions so I omitted them. But I feel like it was more than that. It just didn't have any punch to it, and it was almost acrid. Maybe my curry is bad...but I doubt it. It's pretty new. I don't know. If the idea of curried couscous inspired you, play around with the general idea and fit it to what you think sounds good. In my opinion, it wasn't sweet enough (because it tasted a bit acrid) and it needed some kick, maybe more salt would help. *shrug* I'm an Ina fan too, but this one fell short when I made it. Sad.

Again, I encourage you to make changes based on what you think sounds good, but if I made this again, I would omit the turmeric, add in about a tablespoon of honey, and increase the curry powder to 2 teaspoons. I might also add sauteed chopped onions (the original recipe calls for raw chopped onions, but I prefer cooked onions). The upside of this recipe is that it is incredibly easy and fast!

Curried Couscous with chicken
Adapted from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa
Printable Recipe

1 chicken breast
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 1/2 cup couscous
1 1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon curry powder over the chicken breast and bake at 350 (on a greased pan) until no longer pink. When it's done, slice it into bite-sized pieces.

Meanwhile, boil the water and melt the butter into it. Put the couscous in a large bowl, then pour the butter-water on top and cover tightly for five minutes. While you wait, whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, 1 teaspoon curry powder, turmeric, salt and pepper.

When the couscous is ready, fluff it with a fork, then pour the dressing on top. Combine well, and then stir in everything else: carrots, almonds, cranberries, chicken, and basil.

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