Pine Nut Chicken

There are certain ingredients that trigger an instant reaction. For example: the moment I see okra, I’m already picturing my grandma pounding yam, or when I see extra coffee beans, I want to grind them up, and…make a dry-rub (what did you think?). Pine nuts are definitely one of those ingredients. They’re usually pretty expensive, and previously I only thought about using them for pesto. It was 20 degrees outside when I wrote this– not really in the mood for pesto…

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I’ll admit it: we were running low on everything, and I had to make something happen. Cue up the the Israeli couscous (the pearls are larger than the “standard” kind) and…beans. I didn’t know if it would work, but it was happening one way or another. Season the chicken with salt and a bunch of fresh/dried herbs, toss the couscous on, and try not to think about it too much.

The pine nuts were another curve ball; their texture is similar to that of cashews– so they’re too soft to use as a crust or coating. Instead, keep them whole, and add them to the pan at the last minute. Once they brown a little, the whole thing is ready to eat. I’d say that’s the best way to keep warm.

Let’s cook.

You’ll need:

4-6 Chicken Breast Tenders

3 Cloves of Garlic, minced

3 Cups Couscous, cooked

1 Cup Kidney Beans, pre-cooked

1 Lemon

1/2 Cup Parsley

1 Tsp Cumin

1 Tsp Dried Thyme

1 Tsp Dried Oregano

1 Tsp Dried Basil

1/2 Tbs Dried Mint

1 Tsp Sumac

2 Tbs Butter

1 Tbs Capers

1 Tbs Olive Oil

Salt & Pepper to taste

  1. Season the chicken with salt,  pepper, cumin, thyme, oregano, mint, and basil, then add to a cold pan with olive oil, garlic, and butter. Slowly raise the heat to med-high to prevent the herbs from burning.
  2. Once the first side browns, flip the chicken, then add lemon juice, capers, parsley, and sumac. Add pine nuts when the chicken is fully cooked, then remove from the heat once browned.
  3. Use the same pan to quickly sauté beans in the remaining pan sauce, then add couscous, and taste for seasoning.
  4. Plate and serve.

Done.

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