Wednesday, April 7, 2010

One-Pot Light Chicken Dinners

I would like to share two very simple and light recipes that have a pretty short ingredient list. One of the things that I like about these recipes is that they are fast and easy (I am all about fast and easy dinners because my 14 month old little guy does NOT like it when I cook).

I also like that apart from poaching the chicken, everything else is done using only one large skillet pan.

The first recipe is a South Beach Diet recipe. I am not a fan of the diet itself, but my in-laws like to follow the diet, so I try to make at least one South Beach recipe a week for their sakes. Now, while I don't like the diet myself, I must say that I have run across a number of absolutely fantastic South Beach recipes. So, that has been a plus.

The second recipe is a Martha Stewart Everyday Food recipe. I made it after my sister raved about it and my mom made it after I raved about it. It's one of those recipes that has basic pantry ingredients and it sounds so simple that you don't think it will be as yummy as it actually is. But it is oh so good!


South Beach Lemon Couscous Chicken


1 1/4 cups water
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups broccoli florets
1 package Near East Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil Couscous mix
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
Juice of 1 lemon (about 3 tablespoons)
1/4 teaspoon lemon peel


In a large skillet, bring the water, oil, broccoli, and contents of the spice sack from the couscous mix to a boil. Stir in the couscous, chicken, lemon juice, and lemon peel. Remove from the heat. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff lightly with a fork.

Serve warm or chill well and serve cold.

Serves 4.

Nutrition information: 311 calories, 24 g protein, 39 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 478 mg sodium, 48 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber.

Notes: I usually double this recipe. I also add salt and pepper to taste. Also, if you microwave the lemon for about 20-30 seconds first, it will be a lot easier to juice and it will produce a lot more juice.

Source: South Beach Diet book.

Chicken Chilaquiles
Prep: 30 minutes
Total: 30 minutes

For an authentic touch, use fresh Mexican cheese (queso fresco) or aged (queso anejo) in place of feta.


1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes in puree
2 canned chipotle chilies in adobo, finely chopped (about 1 heaping tablespoon), plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce (from same can)
Coarse salt
1 small cooked rotisserie chicken (about 1 3/4 pounds), skinned and shredded (about 4 cups), carcass discarded
1/2 cup lightly packed cilantro leaves, chopped, plus 4 sprigs for garnish
4 cups (about 3 ounces) tortilla chips
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1.75 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)


Combine oil and garlic in a large (3-to-4-quart) saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and sizzling, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add tomatoes with their puree (breaking tomatoes up), chipotles and adobo, and 1 cup water.

Bring to a boil; season with salt. Reduce heat and simmer rapidly until lightly thickened, 6 to 8 minutes.

Add chicken and cook, stirring, until hot, about 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in chopped cilantro.

Divide chips among four shallow bowls; top with chicken mixture and sauce. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, sour cream, and feta. Serve.

Notes: I've tried both and I actually prefer the bite of feta cheese to the more authentic queso fresco. Also, rather than using a rotisserie chicken (I tend to think that they are pretty messy to get the meat off of), I poached and thickly shredded some chicken breasts. One last thing--this is a spicy meal. If you don't like spicy foods, reduce (but don't omit) the amount of chipotle chilies and adobo sauce you add.

Source: Martha Stewart website and Everyday Food cookbook.

Above: Chicken Chilaquiles with my old camera.

1 comment:

  1. i do love me some chicken chilaquiles. as does my mr. i will have to try this couscous chicken. sounds yum