Spicy Sweet Chicken With Harissa Apricot Sauce

with Chef Robert Larios
Photography by Patricia M. Larios

Tired of eating boring, flavorless food? Then, add harissa! This fiery North African sauce blend will give you something to talk about at dinner parties. The sauce is made from custom apricots and spices like chili peppers, cumin seeds, coriander roots and caraway berries, giving this chicken dish an extra kick that everyone loves. Even those who don’t usually eat meat love their chicken topped off by sautéed broccoli for added freshness on each bite. A side order of oven-baked rice would make the perfect accompaniment.

¡Buen provecho!



Chicken With Harissa Apricot Sauce
With toasted pearl couscous, dried apricots and sautéed broccoli



Yields2 Servings

 6 oz broccoli
 1 whole lemon
 ½ cup toasted pearl couscous
 7 oz chicken cutlets
 1 ¾ tsp smoky applewood spice blend
 2 ½ oz harissa-spiced apricot sauce
 1 oz dried apricots
 Olive oil
 Cooking oil
 Salt and pepper

1

Step 1: Prepare
Cut broccoli into bite-size pieces if necessary. Zest half the lemon with a microplane (or on small holes of a box grater) over a small bowl. Quarter the other half of the lemon.

2

Step 2: Start the Couscous
Bring 1¼ cups water and about ¼ teaspoon salt to a boil in a small pot. Once boiling, stir in toasted pearl couscous. Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer 11-14 minutes, or until couscous is al dente and water has absorbed.

Remove from heat. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir to coat. (You’ll finish the couscous in Step 5.)

3

Step 3: Season and Cook the Chicken
• Cut chicken cutlets into strips, about ½ inch wide.
• Place chicken in a medium bowl. Season with smoky applewood spice blend. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon cooking oil. Stir to coat.
• Heat about 1½ tablespoons cooking oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken to hot pan. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until browned, stirring occasionally.
• Add harissa-spiced apricot sauce and about ¼ cup water. Stir to coat. Cook 4-5 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked and sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally.

4

Step 4: Sauté Broccoli
Heat about 1½ tablespoons olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add broccoli to hot pan. Season with about ¼ teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Cook 5-6 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally.

5

Step 5: Finish Couscous
Add dried apricots and lemon zest to pot with couscous. Squeeze juice from 1-2 lemon wedges over pot, removing any seeds. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6

Step 6: Plate Your Dish
Divide toasted pearl couscous with dried apricots between plates. Top with chicken. Spoon any remaining harissa apricot sauce from pan over the meal.

Ingredients

 6 oz broccoli
 1 whole lemon
 ½ cup toasted pearl couscous
 7 oz chicken cutlets
 1 ¾ tsp smoky applewood spice blend
 2 ½ oz harissa-spiced apricot sauce
 1 oz dried apricots
 Olive oil
 Cooking oil
 Salt and pepper

Directions

1

Step 1: Prepare
Cut broccoli into bite-size pieces if necessary. Zest half the lemon with a microplane (or on small holes of a box grater) over a small bowl. Quarter the other half of the lemon.

2

Step 2: Start the Couscous
Bring 1¼ cups water and about ¼ teaspoon salt to a boil in a small pot. Once boiling, stir in toasted pearl couscous. Reduce heat to medium low. Simmer 11-14 minutes, or until couscous is al dente and water has absorbed.

Remove from heat. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir to coat. (You’ll finish the couscous in Step 5.)

3

Step 3: Season and Cook the Chicken
• Cut chicken cutlets into strips, about ½ inch wide.
• Place chicken in a medium bowl. Season with smoky applewood spice blend. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon cooking oil. Stir to coat.
• Heat about 1½ tablespoons cooking oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken to hot pan. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until browned, stirring occasionally.
• Add harissa-spiced apricot sauce and about ¼ cup water. Stir to coat. Cook 4-5 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked and sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally.

4

Step 4: Sauté Broccoli
Heat about 1½ tablespoons olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add broccoli to hot pan. Season with about ¼ teaspoon salt and a pinch of pepper. Cook 5-6 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally.

5

Step 5: Finish Couscous
Add dried apricots and lemon zest to pot with couscous. Squeeze juice from 1-2 lemon wedges over pot, removing any seeds. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon olive oil. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6

Step 6: Plate Your Dish
Divide toasted pearl couscous with dried apricots between plates. Top with chicken. Spoon any remaining harissa apricot sauce from pan over the meal.

Chicken With Harissa Apricot Sauce With toasted pearl couscous, dried apricots and sautéed broccoli

Food Lover’s Dictionary

Apricot: This fruit of ancient lineage has been grown in China for more than 4,000 years. It now thrives in most temperate climates, with California producing about 90 percent of the American crop. :

Bibliography: Copyright Barron’s Educational Services, Inc. 2009, adapted from The New Food Lover’s Companion, 2007,
by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst.

Recipe was accessed Aug. 21, 2022: www.greenchef.com – https://cdn2.greenchef.com/uploaded/nutritionCard-5f22f3347631b900149d07d5



What You Will Need:

  • Small pot
  • Medium and large sauté pans
  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cup and spoons
  • Microplane
  • Food thermometer


Cooking Tidbit: Instead of couscous, why not try your favorite rice? Rice is a versatile ingredient that can be used in many different dishes. It’s a great way to add texture and flavor to your meal. Plus, it’s a healthy alternative to couscous. So why not give it a try? You might just be surprised at how good it is!



Food Quote: “Food is such an important part of our lives, and sometimes we tend to diminish the importance of that, because we rely on conveniences or because our lives are so complicated. We forget about those moments that we can actually share around the table with our family, with our friends, with our loved ones.” – Thomas Keller

 

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