Day 58: Next up, I’ll be eating my hat

February 27, 2007


This evening we made Chicken with Sweet Raisins and Apricots on Toasted Almond Couscous, which I may have mentioned yesterday we were not particularly excited about. The reasons for that being our recent overexposure to chicken breasts, an ambiguity towards couscous, and a personal dislike of raisins in savoury dishes (stemming from UK school dinner curry- a yellow slime with lumps of unidentifiable “meat” and raisins). That said, this meal was surprisingly tasty, easy and reasonably economical with the dishes.

The chicken was pan fried in olive oil, then a sauce was made with shallots, butter, flour, chicken stock, cider vinegar and apricots and raisins. We skimped on the butter as there was plenty of olive oil left in the skillet and we are not particularly in need of the extra fat. The couscous was cooked with parsley in chicken stock and olive oil. Toasted almonds were added to the final dish.

The couscous was a subtle, tasty backdrop for the chicken dish. The toasted almonds added some interest and bite to the tiny couscous grains. The chicken was, well chicken, but the sauce was good. It was sweet, tangy and tart. The apricots were good and L really liked the raisins; I still wasn’t one hundred percent convinced by that aspect. The best part of this recipe was the fact that it made a complete balanced meal, with complementary flavours and textures. The worst part for us, you’ll be surprised to hear, is that it is made with chicken. With a pork chop this would have been fantastic. On the basis that pork and peaches go tremendously together, this would really have worked beautifully. Och well, moving on.

Tomorrow, we remake this meal from todays master recipe. In its next reincarnation it will be Chicken in a Horseradish Pan Sauce over Orange and Herb Couscous. This actually sounds like a distinctly different interpretation, which is a bonus. Shame about the chicken.

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  • Reply Joannie February 28, 2007 at 7:48 am

    Would you buy this cookbook if you weren’t doing this project?

  • Reply Helen | One Year Project February 28, 2007 at 11:49 am

    That’s a very good question. We might have bought it as it has some pretty good sounding recipes, but honestly I don’t think we’d use it too much. That really has more to do with the layout and lack of pictures. We have three Rachael Ray cookbooks and the only one we really used is “Classic 30-Minute Meals: The All-Occasion Cookbook” (Hardcover). That’s a much nicer book- the quality and layout are much more appealing and there are loads of colour photographs of the food.
    The problem with the 365 Recipes book, and the other one that we have, is that it’s quite an unappealing and uninspiring layout. Without many pictures, it’s really dense and hard to find a particular recipe that you’d like to do. Plus, in this instance, the arrangement of the recipes in no particular order might be annoying if you weren’t following from start to finish.

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