Yummy Fixins: Taking chicken up a notch with mushroom couscous (recipe) | TahoeDailyTribune.com

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Yummy Fixins: Taking chicken up a notch with mushroom couscous (recipe)

Chicken can be boring and quite dry if it's not cooked properly. When I cook chicken for dinner I have to jazz it up, otherwise it becomes just another meal and not a tasty experience. Some people eat for sustenance and don't care as much about flavors or textures, but I personally need a little more from my meals.

While I enjoy eating healthy, I enjoy it even more when food has that "yum factor" … and this recipe made me go "yum" with every bite.

Artichoke Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Mushroom Couscous

Makes four servings.

For the chicken:

4 chicken breasts

Salt and pepper

2 cups marinated artichoke hearts, chopped

4 ounce crumbled goat cheese

2 garlic cloves, diced

8 slices prosciutto

2 tablespoons olive oil

For the couscous:

2 tablespoons olive oil, separated

8 ounces mushrooms, chopped

1 shallot, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tablespoons thyme, chopped

2 cup Israeli couscous

2 ½ cups chicken broth

Salt and pepper

¼ cup parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butterfly each chicken breast by placing your hand flat on top of it, use a sharp knife to make a horizontal slice into the chicken breast starting at the thicker end and ending and the thin point. Make sure not to cut all the way through, then open each chicken breast so they lay flat. Using a meat pounder, gently pound until a quarter inch in thickness; season with salt and pepper. Mix together chopped artichoke hearts, garlic and goat cheese crumbles; spread evenly on the chicken breast. Roll the chicken breast up and wrap it with two pieces of prosciutto, then place on a lightly oiled baking sheet; bake for 20 to 30 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking prepare the couscous. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan and cook the mushrooms over medium heat until softened. Remove the mushrooms and set aside. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil and the shallots to the pan; sauté for two minutes. Stir in the garlic, thyme and couscous; stirring frequently for about three minutes, until the couscous is toasted. Add broth, a pinch of salt and pepper and bring to boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for about five minutes. Stir in parsley and mushrooms and cook for another five minutes, until couscous is tender and the liquid is absorbed.

To serve, slice the chicken at an angle and place on a plate with a scoop of couscous.

Chef Arica Davis is owner/operator of Yummy Fixins, Personal Chef Services and Pasta Parties. Visit http://www.yummyfixins.com to book your next dinner party.