My favorite chicken recipe

I don’t want to bore you too much about how much I love this chicken recipe, it borderlines almost as an obsession.  I even talked about it on Facebook a few times.  Any chance I get to “show” off this tasty little miracle, I do!  I don’t know why I love it so much, might be the lemon, the saffron, the way the couscous absorbs all the goodness…oh it is so good.

oh so yummy

It is healthy and pretty quick to make. You don’t have to use Israeli couscous, you could use any small pasta or rice….but the Israeli couscous is REALLY good in this.  You just need to make sure the pasta is cooked, it might take a bit longer.

I had to make some changes from the original recipe.

And here’s why: I made it bigger…yep BIGGER, as in more food, more leftovers….(also I am using can tomatoes because I don’t always have fresh tomatoes)

Here’s the original recipe:  Chicken and Israeli Couscous with Tomato and Lemon


1-2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 1/2 cup Israeli couscous

3 pounds skinless chicken thighs and drummettes

1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced

1 can petite diced tomatoes (not drained)

4 garlic cloves, minced (1 tablespoon)

4 strips lemon peel (2 inches each)

Pinch of saffron

3/4 cup dry white wine,

2 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed

1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving

How to:
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add couscous, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl, and return skillet to heat.
Add a little bit more oil if necessary.  Cook chicken, smooth side down, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip, and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate, reserving drippings in skillet.
Reduce heat to medium, add onion, and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, garlic, lemon peel, and saffron, and cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes.
Return chicken to skillet. Add wine, and cook for 4 minutes. Add broth, salt, and couscous, and stir. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until couscous is tender and chicken is cooked through, 12 to 14 minutes. Stir in peas, and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Serve immediately with lemon.

I make this recipe a lot.  When I am stressed, happy, worried, overjoyed…you get the idea.  So tonight, I made it to celebrate Tuesday or was it Wednesday (?).  Although, I didn’t have the peas and I only had a red onion, it didn’t matter because it’s always good.  I bet it’s the saffron, or maybe the lemon…then again I do love wine.

Printer Friendly: Chicken and Israeli Couscous with Tomato and Lemon

Sadly I don’t have more pics, which is odd since I make this recipe a lot….I just never take time to take pictures, I am usually so hungry I just want to eat!

Peace and Leftovers,


Find my recipe here as well:



Inspired Macaroni Salad

In my previous life, I was a decorator/interior designer.  I am not one to take offense on what I was called…I was busy making a living.  I was really really busy…then the economy went “kaboom”.  When I was in the decorating business I would get LOTS of decorating magazines.  I would get very inspired and excited every time I saw a new idea.  As you can imagine those ideas can get pretty expensive!  Re-do a room here, paint here, change a cabinet here and there…you get the idea.

In this life, I get cooking magazines…a lot…so I get inspired still but frankly the cost is a lot more bearable!  This is exactly what happened this morning, I got my copy of Everyday Food and I was inspired!

In fact, I was inspired to make my macaroni salad lighter.  I didn’t do much different than what I normally do but I did used greek yogurt instead of just mayonnaise.

Lighter Macaroni Salad


1/2 pound macaroni noodles (or any short noodles you prefer)

2 hard boil eggs

1/2 cup plain yogurt

1/4 cup mayonnaise (light if possible)

splash of hot sauce

1 tablespoon relish

1  celery stalk finely diced

1/2 cup frozen peas thawed

2 tablespoon finely chopped chives

Salt and Pepper

How to:

Boil your noodles according to package directions.  Set aside.

Chop your hard boiled eggs and set aside.  Trust me they don’t have to be pretty or exactly perfect.  The yolk will “mesh” with the dressing so no worries.

In a large bowl mix your yogurt, mayonnaise, hot sauce, relish, salt and pepper (to taste).  Add your cooled noodles, peas, 1 tablespoon of chives and celery.  Mix VERY well.  Add your chopped eggs and gently fold in.  Taste and adjust salt and pepper.  Sprinkle with last tablespoon of chives.

Note: I am always forgetting to thaw my peas.  Easy fix, when I drain my noodles I throw my frozen peas in and they thaw while the noodles cool.

Serve immediately or chill in your refrigerator until ready.

Printer friendly:  Inspired Macaroni Salad

Cooper being Cooper

Cooper our “pretend to be” chocolate lab.  He is also an inspiration….an inspiration to be goofy!  I realize this has nothing to do with macaroni salad but I love this picture.

Peace and get inspired,


Also on:    

Chicken Shells

The name is an exact translation from my mom: shell au poulet.  The shell is a puff pastry.  My mom made this for our family so many times when I was growing up.  I loved it then and I love it now.  I did change a few things…because I can’t leave well enough alone.  My mom has approved of my changes.  They are subtle changes nothing crazy, just fresh herbs and some chicken broth as opposed to only milk in my bechamel. (white sauce)

I also have a delicious recipe that I will share with you soon for Salmon and Eggs Shell, it is so good (shell-like above, not shell-like what the egg came in)!  I can’t wait to make them.  Sadly Mr. Man doesn’t care for salmon.  He will eat any fish you serve him.  However, he will only eat salmon if served to him as a guest.  I am not complaining, he has a very very short list of yuck items: arugula, salmon and olives.  That’s pretty good in my book.  He’s a keeper! 🙂

OK, back to my chicken shells, this is perfect if you have leftover chicken.  If you don’t, simply grab a few (about 3) boneless chicken breasts.  Cook them in a lovely bath of white wine and chicken broth.  Easy does it!  You need about 3 cups of cooked chicken.


6 shells (Pepperidge farms frozen section)  Usually one per person unless you are feeding Matt, he needs 2…at least.

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 cup warm chicken broth

1 1/2 cup warm milk

3 cups cooked chicken cubed (I like large piece, I like to know I am eating chicken!)

1 cup carrots diced (small)

1/2 medium onion finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic finely chopped

1 piece celery diced small (even the leafy top, very tasty)

1 cup frozen green beans thawed and cut in half

3/4 cup frozen peas thawed

1 teaspoon fresh thyme finely chopped

salt and pepper

How to:

Following the package instructions cook your shells and set aside (removing the top) .  I usually cook them while I make my sauce.  But I am such a multi tasker (not! I try)…and I burn everything at least once…I always have a backup!

In a large pan (I use my creuset 5 quart pot) melt your butter.  Add your onions, garlic, carrots and celery, let this cook for 5 minutes until tender.  Add your flour and stir well.  Cook for 1 minute more.  Add your chicken, stir everything around so everyone has a chance to say Hello!  Carefully and slowly (that’s more for me than you!) add your broth and your milk.  Bring this to a gentle boil, cook for 5-10 minutes until nice and thick.  Now time to add your peas, green beans and your fresh thyme.  Salt and pepper.  reduce heat and keep warm.

When you are ready to serve, place one shell on each plate and pour (for lack of a better word) your beautiful hot chicken and bechamel over each shell. Top with the little top….you’ll see what I mean! 🙂

Here is the box to look for at the grocery store:

Puff Pastry Shells

Puff Pastry Shells

Here are the shells:


such a flash back to my childhood!

such a flash back to my childhood!

hard to resit!

hard to resit!

Here is my delicious supper:

feels and smells like my mom's cooking :)

feels and smells like my mom’s cooking 🙂

Printer friendly: Chicken Shells

Have a wonderful day!

Peace and sea shells,