Sunday, April 27, 2008

April 27: Chicken in a Horseradish Pan Sauce over Orange and Herb Couscous

Dan, Max, a teacher-friend of ours, and I went to the Nationals-Cubs game today, and Jon Rauch signed Max's hat! I am such a star-struck moron when it comes to Nationals players, and he is one of our favorites. And he is really really tall. Really really. I like tall boys.

Well, we'll see tomorrow how my whole unemployment hairshirt is going to play out. I'm thinking I'll either be bitter and depressed and thoroughly hideous to live with, or else I'll say screw it all and play Suzy Homemaker, do laundry, and generally make myself useful. We'll see.

However, whatever else I do, I plan to continue to cook for my family. That's always my plan; I am not myself when I am relying on someone or something else to take care of these men that I love so much.

Look, Rachel Ray is the antichrist, okay? She strikes me as completely stale and phony, and I think she does some awful things to food, really unspeakable. But occasionally she does produce some actual food, something that isn't gimmicky or boring or just reeking of her. She makes homemade food accessable to people who, I suspect, really wouldn't think much about food otherwise. I'll give her that, because I really and truly think that food should be accessable; everyone eats and should eat well and intelligently and sensibly. There's that. Then there's the side of me that tells anyone who will listen that Rachel Ray is the antichrist, who thinks that what Rachel Ray does is really playing to the lowest common denominator. Okay, that's enough, Molly. God.

That said, this is a Rachel Ray recipe, and it seems smart and well-made and not total nonsense, and possibly quite tasty. I may make this tomorrow, as I need to make some chicken breasts for Dan's lunch as it is. Suzy Homemaker.

Chicken in a Horseradish Pan Sauce with Orange-Herb Couscous

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/4 cups chicken stock or broth
1 1/2 cups plain couscous
Zest of 1 navel orange
3 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 cup half-and-half

Preheat a large nonstick skillet with 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the hot skillet and cook for 5-6 minutes per side.

While the chicken is cooking, in a sauce pot combine 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock and the remaining olive oil. Cover the pot and raise the heat; bring the stock to a boil. Remove the pot from the heat, add the couscous, orange zest, and parsley, then stir. Cover and let the couscous stand for 5 minutes.

Remove the chicken to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. Return the skillet to the heat and add the onions, horseradish, and thyme. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 3 minutes. Add the mustard, about 3/4 cup of the remaining chicken stock, and the half-and-half. Bring to a simmer, and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, 3 to 4 minutes. Return the chicken to the skillet to heat, about 1 minute.

Fluff the couscous with a fork. Divide the couscous among 4 dinner plates, then top each portion with a chicken breast and some of the horseradish pan sauce.

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

I watched that game. It was an extremely boring game, but at least you were rooting for the winning team. The Nats pitcher really was awesome. Let me know how the staying home is going. You can always call me. You'll need to call my cell though, as thanks to some yardwork being done by my husband, we no longer have a working phone. Big blade, poorly buried phone line-- you see where this is going.