Mediterranean Chicken with Saffron Couscous

Mediterranean Chicken with Saffron Couscous

4 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup all purpose flour
4 (6 oz) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups chicken stock or broth
1 pinch saffron or 1 single use packet saffron powder (I don’t normally use this)
4 garlic cloves, 1 crushed, 3 chopped
1 cup couscous
1 large red onion
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
1 (15 oz) can of quartered artichoke hearts drained
1 cup dry white wine (3-4 glugs)
10 kalamata olives pitted and cut in half
1/2 pint grape or cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (a couple of generous handfuls), coarsely chopped 20 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat with olive oil. Place flour in a dish and season the chicken with salt pepper and cayenne pepper, then transfer the chicken in the dish with the flour. Cook the chicken in the skillet for 5-6 minutes on each side. While chicken is cooking start the couscous.

In a sauce pot bring two cups of chicken stock up to a boil with saffron, the crushed clove of garlic, salt and pepper. When the stock is at a boil ad the couscous, cover and remove from heat. Let it stand for 10 minutes. Once the chicken is done remove it and put it on a plate with foil to keep it warm. Add more olive oil to the skillet, add onions, 3 cloves chopped garlic, thyme, salt and pepper cook stirring frequently.

Add the artichokes and wine to the pan, bring it to a simmer and add the remaining cup of chicken stock, olives, and grape tomatoes.

Return the liquids to a simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the tomatoes start to burst. Add the chicken back to the pan. Add the parsley and basil to the dish and stir.

To serve, fluff the couscous with a fork, remove and discard the crushed garlic clove. Serve the chicken and sauce over the couscous.

Serves 4.

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