Seared Chicken & Pearl Couscous with Crispy Capers & Blood Orange Sauce

Seared Chicken & Pearl Couscous

with Crispy Capers & Blood Orange Sauce

45 MIN
2 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Tonight’s dish is inspired by the cuisines of the Mediterranean, where bright, lively flavors reign supreme. To serve with our chicken and pearl couscous (named for its larger, round shape), we’re making a pan sauce that gets a citrusy pop from the fresh juice of a blood orange. (A bit of tangy verjus balances the blood orange's distinct flavor.) A simple garnish of pan-fried capers adds a briny layer to complement the sweet pan sauce and nutty sautéed broccoli.

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

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Cut the broccoli into florets. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Halve the orange and squeeze the juice into a bowl, straining out any seeds.

Cook the couscous:
2 Cook the couscous:

Add the couscous to the pot of boiling water and cook, uncovered, 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot. Set aside in a warm place.

Fry the capers:
3 Fry the capers:

While the couscous cooks, place a paper towel on a clean, dry work surface; spread the capers on top. Using a second paper towel, gently pat or roll the capers to thoroughly dry. In a large, high-sided pan (or pot), heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high until hot. Once the oil is hot enough that a caper sizzles immediately when added to the pan, add the dried capers and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until crispy. Leaving the oil in the pan, carefully transfer the fried capers to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside in a warm place.

Cook the broccoli & finish the couscous:
4 Cook the broccoli & finish the couscous:

While the couscous continues to cook, add the broccoli to the pan of reserved oil; season with salt and pepper. (If the pan seems dry, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil.) Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the onion and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the broccoli is lightly browned and softened. Transfer to the pot of cooked couscous. Stir in ¼ of the verjus; season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside in a warm place. Rinse and wipe out the pan.

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 golden brown and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a cutting board.

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

Add the orange juice, remaining verjus and 2 tablespoons of water to the pan of reserved fond; season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium-high, stirring frequently and scraping up any fond from the bottom of the pan, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced in volume by about half. Turn off the heat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Slice the cooked chicken crosswise. Divide the finished couscous between 2 dishes. Top with the sliced chicken and sauce. Garnish with the fried capers. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Cut the broccoli into florets. Peel and thinly slice the shallot. Halve the orange and squeeze the juice into a bowl, straining out any seeds.

2 Cook the couscous:

Add the couscous to the pot of boiling water and cook, uncovered, 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender. Turn off the heat. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot. Set aside in a warm place.

Cook the couscous:
Fry the capers:
3 Fry the capers:

While the couscous cooks, place a paper towel on a clean, dry work surface; spread the capers on top. Using a second paper towel, gently pat or roll the capers to thoroughly dry. In a large, high-sided pan (or pot), heat a thin layer of oil on medium-high until hot. Once the oil is hot enough that a caper sizzles immediately when added to the pan, add the dried capers and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until crispy. Leaving the oil in the pan, carefully transfer the fried capers to a paper towel-lined plate and set aside in a warm place.

4 Cook the broccoli & finish the couscous:

While the couscous continues to cook, add the broccoli to the pan of reserved oil; season with salt and pepper. (If the pan seems dry, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil.) Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the onion and as much of the red pepper flakes as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the broccoli is lightly browned and softened. Transfer to the pot of cooked couscous. Stir in ¼ of the verjus; season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside in a warm place. Rinse and wipe out the pan.

Cook the broccoli & 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 golden brown and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a cutting board.

6 Make the sauce & plate your dish:

Add the orange juice, remaining verjus and 2 tablespoons of water to the pan of reserved fond; season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium-high, stirring frequently and scraping up any fond from the bottom of the pan, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced in volume by about half. Turn off the heat; season with salt and pepper to taste. Slice the cooked chicken crosswise. Divide the finished couscous between 2 dishes. Top with the sliced chicken and sauce. Garnish with the fried capers. Enjoy!

Make the sauce & plate your dish:
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