OK, to be honest, I don’t get asked what’s for dinner very often. Then again, my oldest child is 3, so I suppose I’ll be hit with it much more often in the future. If my husband comes home and I’m not actively cooking, I imagine he knows he’s getting a frozen pizza.
I love to cook. It’s one of the things I look forward to fully embracing when both of my children are in school. Right now, I attempt to meal plan two meals a week and pray the leftovers hold out (and also stock the freezer with frozen pizzas. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Screamin’ Sicilian Pizza Co. pizzas are THE BEST frozen pizzas. Hands down. And, yes, I will fight you on this. Also, they have a punch-out mustache on the back of the box. So, win win).
When I was finishing up college, I scored an (unpaid) internship at Oxmoor House Books, the book-publishing company responsible for all Southern Living and Cooking Light cookbooks. Needless to say, I may have visited the test kitchen a few times. When you read recipes all day looking for errors, you tend to go home and cook more often. Also, you tend to find yourself hungry All. The. Time. Therefore, I have a Southern Living loyalty. I know how much testing goes into each recipe, so I trust the outcome, though I do prefer the recipe to come with a photo (also a ton of work involved).
This afternoon, I was scrambling for a dinner idea before I went grocery shopping. I saw a copy of Southern Living magazine (which I’d purchased to make the most amazing hummingbird cake for my mom’s birthday) and flipped through. I landed on the most delicious chicken bowl, so I thought I’d share. Super easy, very fast. And it’s made with relatively normal ingredients. I can’t wait to eat the leftovers.
Couscous Pilaf with Roasted Carrots, Chicken, and Feta
Copied from Southern Living magazine, Feb. 2018, page 107
4 large carrots, peeled and diagonally sliced 1/4 inch thick (about 12 oz.)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
1/2 cup butter
2 tsp. lemon zest, plus 1/4 cup fresh juice (from 1 large lemon), divided
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup uncooked couscous
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken, warmed (about 12 oz. from 1 chicken)
2 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine carrots, oil, pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt on a large rimmed baking sheet. Toss to coat; spread in an even layer. Bake in preheated oven until tender, 16 to 18 minutes, stirring once. Remove from oven.
- While carrots roast, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium-high. Cook until milk solids turn golden brown and have a nutty fragrance, swirling pan occasionally as mixture bubbles, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; let stand 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice; set aside.
- Bring water and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to a boil in a medium saucepan over high. Stir in couscous. Cover and remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork; stir in raisins, parsley, almonds, and 5 tablespoons of the browned butter mixture.
- Combine carrots, chicken, and 2 tablespoons of the browned butter mixture in a bowl; toss to coat. Divide couscous pilaf evenly among 4 bowls; top with chicken-carrot mixture. Sprinkle with cheese; drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon browned butter mixture. Top with lemon zest and parsley.
I hadn’t roasted carrots before, but holy wow. They’re a lot like roasted sweet potatoes. I just loved this dish. And it gave plenty of options to feed the kids. George isn’t going to eat from a big bowl like this, but I can separate out the meat, raisins, cheese, and carrots, and he will actually eat something! I did have to add barbecue sauce to his plate, because he’s convinced you can’t have chicken without good, ol’ BBQ.
Cooked anything good lately? I’m all ears!