Couscous Risotto with Chicken and Spinach

Last month’s library cookbook potluck was all dutch oven recipes. This isn’t the one I brought to the event, but it was the one I liked best/thought worth making later at home. I seem to do more fake risottos than real ones, and this is no exception. The couscous gets a bit smooshy-creamy, and is quite nice! You need pearl/Israeli couscous for this, small couscous will give you a whole different mess. (Also, if you’re having trouble finding it, Israeli couscous was in the Jewish-ish section at my supermarket…)

Not the single most photogenic food ever, but…whatever…

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, trimmed and cut into 1″ cubes
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts, halved lengthwise then sliced into thin semicircles, washed thoroughly
  • 1 1/2 cups pearl/Israeli couscous
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 ounces baby spinach, chopped coarsely
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (you don’t have to thaw)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

If you swish your sliced leeks around in water a while, it’s best to then lift them out by hand/slotted spoon into a colander, rather than pour, so that all that dirt at the bottom of the bowl doesn’t just land back on top.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Melt one tablespoon of the butter in a dutch oven over medium-high heat, and brown the chicken on all sides. Remove the browned chicken to a bowl and set aside.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks and couscous and cook, stirring, until the leeks are softened and the couscous is lightly toasted.

Stir in the broth and 1 teaspoon of salt, then bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 12 minutes, or until couscous is tender, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the chicken and any accumulated juices, then recover and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about another 5 minutes.

Remove from the heat, then stir in the spinach, cheese, peas, and cream.

Let sit until the peas are warmed and the cheese is melted in, a further 5 minutes, then serve.

Couscous Risotto with Chicken and Spinach

From Cook It In Your Dutch Oven.

  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, trimmed and cut into 1″ cubes
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts, halved lengthwise then sliced into thin semicircles, washed thoroughly
  • 1 1/2 cups pearl/Israeli couscous
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 ounces baby spinach, chopped coarsely
  • 3/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas (you don’t have to thaw)
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Melt one tablespoon of the butter in a dutch oven over medium-high heat, and brown the chicken on all sides. Remove the browned chicken to a bowl and set aside.

Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks and couscous and cook, stirring, until the leeks are softened and the couscous is lightly toasted. Stir in the broth and 1 teaspoon of salt, then bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook 12 minutes, or until couscous is tender, stirring occasionally.

Stir in the chicken and any accumulated juices, then recover and cook until the chicken is cooked through, about another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, then stir in the spinach, cheese, peas, and cream. Let sit until the peas are warmed and the cheese is melted in, a further 5 minutes, then serve.

About sparecake

My name's Corinne, and I like cake, cookies, and chocolate! Also, non-c-things such as ponies, Star Trek, and biking. I write a food blog and a blog about life, wide open spaces, and museum work. Nice to meet you!
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