Let me get this out of the way: I’m pretty sure this took me a little longer than 15 minutes to make. Maybe I’m a little slow or maybe Jamie Oliver is a little crazy for assuming your water is already boiled and your ingredients are out (because who doesn’t just have water boiling and ingredients out all day while they’re at work?), or maybe a little bit of both. I can’t tell you exactly how long this took me since I did some prep the night before, making my tzatziki, chopping the vegetables (admittedly, I was too lazy to wash the food processor so I just diced them since I was already chopping fruit for the kids’ breakfasts), and pounding the chicken. The evening we had this, all I really needed to do was cook the chicken and couscous and toss everything together. So while it may have taken a little longer than 15 minutes when it was all said and done, this was still very quick and easy, healthy, and we all loved it. And you really can’t beat that.
The dish is not “traditionally” Greek, but has plenty of components found in Greek cuisine, like dill, tzatziki, and feta. The chicken is flavored with oregano, allspice, and lemon zest (a few of my most favorite things) and placed atop a bed of colorful, herby couscous studded with crunchy peppers and peas. It’s finished with some salty feta and cool tzatziki. I had reservations about the peppers not being cooked, but it definitely worked. Plus, I think this could easily work as a cold dish, making it perfect for lunch.
Of course, I did completely forget the olives. Oh well, next time!
Greek Chicken with Herby Vegetable Couscous and Tzatziki
Adapted from Jamie Oliver
1-1.25 lbs. chicken breast, pounded 1/2″ thin
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. ground allspice
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup couscous
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 small red bell pepper
1 small green bell pepper
1 small fresh red chili, or crushed red pepper flakes to taste
4 green onions
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Tzatziki for serving
Season the chicken on both sides with the oregano, allspice, lemon zest, and salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat and once hot, add the chicken. Cook through, about 4 minutes per side. Rest for a few minutes before slicing into strips.
Meanwhile, bring the chicken broth to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Add the peas and the couscous. Stir, cover, and then turn off the heat. Allow couscous to absorb liquid, about 5 minutes.
Remove the stem and seeds from the peppers, chop coarsely, and add to the bowl of a food processor along with the onions and dill. Pulse process until finely chopped.
In a large bowl, mix together the cooked couscous, processed vegetables, olives, juice of the lemon, and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place the couscous on a platter or individual serving dishes. Top with crumbled feta and chicken slices; serve with tzatziki on the side.
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