Sometimes when I'm inspired by a need or an occasion - or an ingredient - the recipe I want to create or adapt is pretty straightforward. Other times, there's more pressure - for me at least - and it isn't quite so simple. This is one of those latter cases.
I was recently sent a sample pack of Knorr Homestyle Stock and asked to create a recipe using it. It's concentrated stock, something I really miss using. I used to buy super concentrated chicken and beef stock all the time and use it when cooking, but the company I bought from stopped making it, and I've been stuck since. Of course, stuck is relative since I've been able to either make my own stock or purchase stock in containers so that I'm not truly stuck using bouillon cubes, which are far too salty for me.
Why did I need to create a recipe? Well, I've been selected to create a recipe that has the opportunity to be chosen as a finalist to be one of the Knorr Four. The eight finalists will win a trip to BlogHer 2011 and compete for the "ultimate reward." No pressure there, right? The recipe has to use the concentrated Knorr Homestyle Stock, which means I can use it more concentrated like I used to (yay!) or find some completely new use for it.
Wish me luck. I came up with a dish that's a winner in our household, but who know what the panel of judges will think!
Mediterranean Chicken Cous Cous
1 lb chicken
1 onion, quartered
2 T salt
2 bay leaves
2 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (yep, another one)
1 14 oz can artichoke hearts, drained and rinsed
2 c chopped Roma tomatoes (4-5, depending on size)
3 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 t salt
1/2 t pepper, fresh ground
1 tub Knorr Homestyle Stock (chicken)
1 1/2 c water
16 oz whole wheat cous cous
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 c fresh parsley, chopped
Bring 2 quarts water to a boil, adding the quartered onion, bay leaves, and 2 T salt. Once the water is boiling, add the chicken and immediately bring down to a simmer. Simmer gently for 20 minutes, until cooked through. Once it is cooked, shred or cut into small pieces and set aside.
While the chicken is simmering, begin work on the cous cous.
Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion, and cook for ten minutes - until it is soft and just beginning to brown. Let it cook; this is one where you don't need to stir it constantly.
While the onion is cooking, slice the artichoke hearts into bite size pieces. Go ahead and dice the tomato at this point, as well as mincing the garlic, too. Once the onion is golden brown, add the artichokes, tomatoes, garlic, salt, and pepper. Cook for about five minutes, as you want the tomato to soften and get tender. Make sure you stir occasionally.
Add the stock and stir quickly to combine, then add the water and bring to a boil.
Once the mixture is boiling, remove it from the heat and all the cous cous. Cover immediately and let it sit for 10 minutes. Fluff it with a fork, gently. Add the poached chicken, and stir gently. Crumble feta and fresh parsley atop the cous cous and serve.
The total cook time is approximately 35 minutes, allowing for prep, as long as you continue to do the steps in tandem. The recipe will serve 6 people easily. Enjoy!
Win Chicken in the Car and the Car Won't Go, a Chicago Travel Guide
In the interest of full disclosure, I received a package of Knorr Homestyle Stock to allow me to create this recipe. I have the opportunity to win a trip to BlogHer 2011, but that is by no means guaranteed. I received no compensation, and all opinions are my own.