Seared Chicken & Creamy Couscous with Olive & Raisin Sauce

Seared Chicken & Creamy Couscous

with Olive & Raisin Sauce

40 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

This dish comes together with the complex flavors of a simple sauce. For the perfect balance of buttery, sweet, and tart, we’re combining Castelvetrano olives with golden raisins and a bit of verjus, a vinegar-like juice pressed from young grapes. The sauce makes for a delicious topping for our chicken, served over delicately creamy, tomato-infused couscous (which gets refreshing pops of crunch from sautéed celery).

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    650 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut the celery crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Using the flat side of your knife, smash the olives; remove and discard the pits, then roughly chop.

Cook the couscous:
2 Cook the couscous:

In a medium pot, combine the couscous and 1/2 cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and remove from heat. Let stand 6 to 8 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the couscous is tender. Fluff the cooked couscous with a fork; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the aromatics:
3 Make the aromatics:

While the couscous cooks, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the celery and half the garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add the tomato paste and up to 3/4 of the red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you'd like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until dark red and fragrant. Add 1/4 cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened and saucy. Turn off the heat.

Finish the couscous:
4 Finish the couscous:

Transfer the cooked aromatics to the pot of cooked couscous. Stir in the crème fraîche. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside in a warm place. Rinse and wipe out the pan used to cook the aromatics.

Cook the chicken:
5 Cook the chicken:

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a plate.

Make the sauce & plate your dish:
6 Make the sauce & plate your dish:

To the pan of reserved fond, add the olives, raisins, remaining garlic and as much of the remaining red pepper flakes as you'd like, depending on how spicy you'd like the dish to be. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. Add the verjus and 1/4 cup of water (be careful, as the liquid may splatter). Cook, stirring frequently and scraping up any fond from the bottom of the pan, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat. Divide the finished couscous between 2 dishes. Top with the cooked chicken. Top with the sauce. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Cut the celery crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick pieces. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Using the flat side of your knife, smash the olives; remove and discard the pits, then roughly chop.

2 Cook the couscous:

In a medium pot, combine the couscous and 1/2 cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and remove from heat. Let stand 6 to 8 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the couscous is tender. Fluff the cooked couscous with a fork; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Cook the couscous:
Make the aromatics:
3 Make the aromatics:

While the couscous cooks, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the celery and half the garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add the tomato paste and up to 3/4 of the red pepper flakes, depending on how spicy you'd like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until dark red and fragrant. Add 1/4 cup of water; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly thickened and saucy. Turn off the heat.

4 Finish the couscous:

Transfer the cooked aromatics to the pot of cooked couscous. Stir in the crème fraîche. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside in a warm place. Rinse and wipe out the pan used to cook the aromatics.

Finish the couscous:
Cook the chicken:
5 Cook the chicken:

Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper on both sides. In the same pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook 4 to 6 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a plate.

6 Make the sauce & plate your dish:

To the pan of reserved fond, add the olives, raisins, remaining garlic and as much of the remaining red pepper flakes as you'd like, depending on how spicy you'd like the dish to be. Cook on medium-high, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. Add the verjus and 1/4 cup of water (be careful, as the liquid may splatter). Cook, stirring frequently and scraping up any fond from the bottom of the pan, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat. Divide the finished couscous between 2 dishes. Top with the cooked chicken. Top with the sauce. Enjoy!

Make the sauce & plate your dish:
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