Rachel Ray's Tangy Cherry Chicken
• 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
• 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 6 oz. each
• 2 Tbsp. chopped thyme leaves, about 6 sprigs
• salt and pepper, to taste
• 1/4 cup pine nuts (or a couple of handfuls)
• 3 cups chicken stock
• 4 Tbsp. cold butter
• 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
• 3 ribs celery, finely chopped
• 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
• 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
• 1 cup dry white wine
• 1 cup dried cherries (or a couple of handfuls)
• 2 cups plain couscous
• 1/2 tsp. ground allspice
• 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1/4 cup honey (or a healthy drizzling)
• 2 scallions, finely chopped
• 3 Tbsp. flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1. Heat 3 Tbsp. of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season chicken breasts liberally with half of the thyme, salt and pepper; add to hot skillet and cook 5 to 6 minutes on each side, or until inside is no longer pink. Remove chicken to a plate and cover it with foil to keep warm.
2. Toast pine nuts in a medium saucepan over medium heat; remove and set aside. Add 2 cups stock and 1 Tbsp. of the butter to pot, and bring to a boil.
3. Put the chicken skillet back on the stove over medium-high heat and add the remaining 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Add the onion, celery, red pepper flakes, nutmeg, salt and pepper, and sauté 3 to 4 minutes, or until celery and onions are tender. Add white wine and let it simmer until pan is almost dry, 1 minute. Add the 2 cups of hot chicken stock and the dried cherries, and continue to simmer, about 5 to 6 minutes, or until about 1?2 cup of liquid is left in the pan. Remove pan from heat, add remaining 3 Tbsp. cold butter in small pieces and whisk until it’s completely melted.
4. In a medium saucepan, bring the remaining 1 cup chicken stock to a boil. Add couscous, allspice, cinnamon and a little salt. Cover pot and remove from heat. Let it stand 5 minutes. Drizzle honey over couscous and add pine nuts, scallions and parsley. Toss and fluff with a fork to combine. 5 Serve chicken whole or sliced, with cherry sauce poured over and couscous alongside.