Saturday, August 10, 2013

Curry Chicken with Mint Tabbouleh and Labneh Sauce

So, married life has brought on an assortment of cooking challenges...Cooking for two, cooking when I don't feel like  it (aka cooking breakfast!), and cooking in spite of the lapse of our poor dishwasher. It also means that I have to grocery shop on a budget, and meal plan for the week.

The first meal I planned for this week was a pseudo-Lebanese dish. The rest of my dishes for this week have a Middle-Eastern flair (except the quiche, I guess). It's not really authentic, but it uses the ingredients I selected for the week, and I am overjoyed to say that I had one VERY pleased husband!

 First, I started with the couscous.

*I used Israeli couscous for this dish*--It's more like a pasta, made into tiny balls. It is significantly larger than Moroccan couscous. You can normally find it in the Jewish food section of the grocery store (or you could just use normal couscous, or even quinoa if you want!)

Just follow the directions for  cooking 1 cup of couscous. As it sits to cook, start on the chicken. 

Curry Chicken:

3-4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
curry powder
salt and pepper
olive oil
chili powder

Preheat a large pan to medium heat. Beat your chicken with a meat mallet until about 3/4 inch thick (not too much, just to even it out a little). Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breasts with curry powder, salt and pepper (be liberal, make sure they are evenly covered!). Add a tablespoon of butter and one of olive oil to your pan, let it spread all around, and then lay in your seasoned chicken pieces skin side down. It should sizzle like mad--however it should not spit and spew--if it does, just turn down the heat a little and duck.

Now let them cook! Don't touch! Next we turn back to the couscous, which should be done by now. Take it off of the heat and let it cool for a bit while you chop your veg...

Couscous Ingredients:

1/4 cup of chopped cucumber
1/4 cup of chopped tomato
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon of lemon juice

Add these ingredients to a bowl, and stir in the cooled couscous--you should be serving it room temperature.

FLIP YOUR CHICKEN when you see the white (aka cooked part) creeping up the sides, and it looks like the bottom half it done cooking--about 5-8 minutes.

Now the last step: making your Labneh. This is a smooth, tart sauce that really balances out the spicy curry and the tangy garlic of the meal. It's amazingly cooling, and it also really good on pita bread! It is served at Lebanese restaurants. This recipe is adapted for quick use, the original recipe takes a bit 24 hours longer...

Labneh Sauce:

1 cup of plain, full fat yogurt (NOT Greek)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon mayonaise

Mix these ingredients together. BOOM. That's it.

Now for your assembly. When the  chicken is done, let it cool on a plate for a few minutes, and sprinkle over a pinch of chili powder. Then shred it with a fork and knife.

To serve, place some couscous on a plate, rest a bundle of chicken on top, and drizzle Labneh around it in a circle. Garnish with mint.


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