So...my 19-year old decided about a month ago that she is now a vegetarian.
Oh wait, let's back up... my VERY FUSSY 19-year old decided suddenly that she is now a vegetarian.
Her impromptu decision could have proven a little challenging considering that the star of this week's dish is...chicken; but with a little bit of improvisation the challenge became an opportunity.
Chicken couscous is a stew-like dish of braised chicken, winter vegetables and couscous simmered in a spicy broth of North African influence. Obviously, that was not going to work.
Here is how it went down - ginger paste, lemongrass, turmeric, ground cinnamon, garlic and salt and pepper were worked into a paste and smeared on to a couple of bone-in chicken breasts. The chicken was given a brief saute (just enough to add a little color to the skin) and then were placed into the oven to finish cooking.
While the chicken was baking, more paste and butter were warmed up in the bottom of a large pot. Once the butter melted leeks, small white onions, celery, carrots and turnips were sauteed in the butter/ spice mixture just until they started to pick up some color. A few cups of vegetable stock were added to the pot and everything was simmered until tender. Zucchini and cooked chickpeas were added near the end of the cooking time.
The Dude and I had the chicken and vegetable mixture with a side of Trader Joe's Harvest Grains Blend (love that mix) and a spicy red pepper and garlic paste that I picked up at a local market. The spicy crispy chicken skin stole the show. Culinary Kid enjoyed hers sans chicken (and gobbled up all the leftovers).
Not following the recipe totally worked in our favor this week.
This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie. One bloggers version of Dorie's chicken couscous can be found here.