Serve chicken kebabs over fruited couscous
A bright range of seasonings, including soy sauce, fruit preserves, hot-pepper sauce, garlic and ginger, makes spicy grilled chicken a nice balance for fruited couscous in this appealing kebab recipe.
It’s among 250 dishes detailed in “Family Circle Eat What You Love & Lose” (Regan Books, 2003, $19.95) by magazine food director Peggy Katalinich. The cookbook features what is billed as “quick and easy diet recipes from our test kitchen.”
What gives the recipes conviction is that they were developed to help the test-kitchen team lose weight, as a permanent plan for healthy eating. The plan worked – and here’s the book with the recipes.
Chicken Kebabs Over Fruited Couscous
(Preparation 20 minutes, refrigerate 2 hours, cook 6 minutes, stand 10 minutes, grill or broil 8 to 12 minutes)
For the Marinade:
1 T. dark Asian sesame oil
1Ú2 cup rice wine or dry sherry
1Ú3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
3 T. apricot preserves
1 teaspoon liquid hot-pepper sauce
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 T. minced peeled fresh ginger
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 T. sesame seeds, toasted
1Ú2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder (optional)
For the Chicken:
6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halve (about 11Ú2 pounds total), cut into 1-inch squares
1 sweet red pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1-inch squares
1 sweet yellow or green pepper, cored, seeded and cut into 1-inch squares
For Fruited Couscous:
1 medium-size onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 rib celery, finely chopped
6 dried apricots, cut in 1Ú4-inch dice
1Ú2 cup dried cherries or dark seedless raisins
10-ounce package couscous
141Ú2-ounce reduced-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
1Ú4 cup water
1Ú2 teaspoon salt
1Ú4 teaspoon black pepper
To make marinade: Whisk together oil, rice wine, soy, preserves, hot sauce, garlic, ginger, scallions, 1Ú2 tablespoon of the sesame seeds, and, if using, five-spice powder, in medium-size bowl.
Add chicken and sweet peppers to marinade. Cover; refrigerate 2 hours or overnight.
Prepare outdoor grill with hot coals, or heat gas grill to hot, or heat oven broiler.
To make Fruited Couscous: Coat large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Place over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and celery; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add apricots and cherries; cook 1 minute or until vegetables are light-golden. Stir in couscous; cook 1 minute. Add broth, 1Ú4 cup water, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Immediately remove skillet from heat. Cover and let stand 10 minutes.
Thread chicken on 6 metal skewers, alternating with peppers.
Grill kebabs, turning once, until chicken is cooked through, about 8 minutes.
Arrange couscous and kebabs on plates. Sprinkle top with remaining sesame seeds.
Makes 8 servings.