Friday, December 12, 2014

Chicken Apple Sausage Couscous

I'm really becoming a master at this cooking meat thing.  I've tried lots of different types of meat in an attempt to feed my husband more than just quinoa and lentils - although, gotta love him, he happily eats those too.  In fact, I think he is really a vegetarian in disguise.  There are some meats he will not eat, like anything that has been ground, or sausage.  Yeah, I found out about the sausage after I had already bought the ingredients for this chicken apple sausage couscous.  Oh well.

Forget about the sausage, since it was in there but neither Mark nor I ate it.  Let's talk about the other flavors.  This is no ordinary couscous.  Thyme, cumin, coriander, and curry powder (not to mention a hefty helping of pepper) spice it up beautifully, and then there are dried cranberries to give it a touch of tart sweetness.  Pine nuts give it a great crunch, and, for sausage-eating carnivores, there's some apple sausage in there for ya.

Mark and I agreed that the couscous itself was delicious, and invited over Kenzie, Nick and my mom to eat with us and help us out with the sausage.  How did they feel about it?  I'll let this picture speak for itself.

If you eat sausage, please make this.  It's tasty and quick and easy and healthy.  You won't be sorry.


chicken apple sausage couscous
from Mel's Kitchen Cafe
serves 4 - 6

1/3 cup pine nuts
1/2 yellow onion, sliced into half moons
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
12 ounces precooked sweet apple chicken sausages, or other type sausage/kielbasa, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, divided
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1 cup dry whole wheat couscous


1) Start the couscous cooking according to the package directions.  You can cook it in water, but cooking it in chicken broth gives it a boost in flavor.

2) Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet, toast the pine nuts over medium-low to medium heat, tossing frequently, until they are golden.  Remove the pine nuts to a small bowl and return the skills tot medium heat.

3) Heat the olive oil until rippling and hot.  Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to turn translucent, about 4 minutes.  Add the chicken sausage and brown lightly, about 2 - 3 minutes.  Add 1/3 cup of the chicken broth to the skillet with the salt, pepper, thyme, cumin, coriander and curry powder.  Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a simmer.  Cook until the onion is very tender and most of the liquid has evaporated and/or absorbed.  It should still be slightly wet but not soupy.

4) Add the cranberries and the remaining chicken broth (2/3 cup) to the skilled.  Simmer for 2 - 3 minutes until the cranberries are heated through and softened a bit.  Stir in the cooked couscous and let the entire mixture simmer for 2 - 3 minutes until the liquid is mostly absorbed but the couscous is not dry.  It should still have some tender moisture to it but not be saturated with broth.

5) Stir in the toasted pine nuts and serve immediately.

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