Seared Chicken & Saffron Couscous with Summer Squash & Red Bell Pepper

Seared Chicken & Saffron Couscous

with Summer Squash & Red Bell Pepper

40 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Tonight’s dish highlights the vibrant flavors of Moroccan cuisine. Fluffy couscous gets a subtle, aromatic lift from saffron—an exquisite red spice. A bold, garlicky tomato sauce coats our chicken and a duo of tender summer vegetables: red bell pepper and squash (you may receive grey or green zucchini, or yellow squash). To top it all off, we’re making a classic aioli with mayonnaise and another touch of garlic.

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

Wash and dry the fresh produce. In a bowl, combine the saffron, 1 cup of warm water, and a big pinch of salt. Roughly chop the almonds. Roughly chop the parsley leaves and stems. Peel and small dice the onion. Cut out and discard the stem, ribs, and seeds of the pepper; medium dice. Medium dice the squash. Place the tomatoes in a bowl; gently break apart with your hands. Peel and finely chop the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester).

Cook the couscous:
2 Cook the couscous:

In a medium pot, combine the couscous, a big pinch of salt, and the saffron-water mixture. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and turn off the 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. Stir in the almonds, half the parsley, and a drizzle of olive oil; season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside in a warm place.

Cook the chicken:
3 Cook the chicken:

While the couscous cooks, pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer the cooked chicken to a plate. Set aside in a warm place.

Start the vegetables:
4 Start the vegetables:

Add the onion to the pan of reserved fond; season with salt and pepper. (If the pan seems dry, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil.) Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened and fragrant. Add the pepper and squash; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until slightly softened.

Finish the vegetables & chicken:
5 Finish the vegetables & chicken:

Add the tomatoes and half the garlic paste to the pan; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture is slightly thickened. Add the cooked chicken; cook, stirring occasionally, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. Turn off the heat; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the aioli & serve your dish:
6 Make the aioli & serve your dish:

While the vegetables cook, in a bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon of water, and as much of the remaining garlic paste as you’d like; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the cooked couscous and finished vegetables and chicken among 4 dishes. Garnish with the aioli and remaining parsley. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. In a bowl, combine the saffron, 1 cup of warm water, and a big pinch of salt. Roughly chop the almonds. Roughly chop the parsley leaves and stems. Peel and small dice the onion. Cut out and discard the stem, ribs, and seeds of the pepper; medium dice. Medium dice the squash. Place the tomatoes in a bowl; gently break apart with your hands. Peel and finely chop the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester).

2 Cook the couscous:

In a medium pot, combine the couscous, a big pinch of salt, and the saffron-water mixture. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and turn off the 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. Stir in the almonds, half the parsley, and a drizzle of olive oil; season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside in a warm place.

Cook the couscous:
Cook the chicken:
3 Cook the chicken:

While the couscous cooks, pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer the cooked chicken to a plate. Set aside in a warm place.

4 Start the vegetables:

Add the onion to the pan of reserved fond; season with salt and pepper. (If the pan seems dry, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil.) Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until slightly softened and fragrant. Add the pepper and squash; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until slightly softened.

Start the vegetables:
Finish the vegetables & chicken:
5 Finish the vegetables & chicken:

Add the tomatoes and half the garlic paste to the pan; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the mixture is slightly thickened. Add the cooked chicken; cook, stirring occasionally, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. Turn off the heat; season with salt and pepper to taste.

6 Make the aioli & serve your dish:

While the vegetables cook, in a bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon of water, and as much of the remaining garlic paste as you’d like; season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the cooked couscous and finished vegetables and chicken among 4 dishes. Garnish with the aioli and remaining parsley. Enjoy!

Make the aioli & serve your dish:
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