PER CENA… Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken with Sweet Couscous
Honey mustard is one of my favorite condiments. Grilled chicken is one of my favorite ingredients upon which to base a meal. Couscous is one of my favorite side dishes thanks to it’s amazing versatility. Combining them all into one, delicious meal – why haven’t I tried this before?! The inner workings of my cooking brain came up with this recipe for Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken with Sweet Couscous, and it’s a sure-fire hit!
I cannot stress enough how important it is for this dish – and for any dish containing lean chicken breast – to juice the chicken in some way. By juice, I mean marinate – do you like my personal kitchen lingo? For pieces of poultry like chicken breasts, the ones with very little fat on them, they need some kind of added juice to enhance flavor, but most importantly, to keep them from being too dry. I marinated the chicken for this dish for about six hours, but 30 minutes should suffice if you’re running short for time. I loved the flavor combination of lemon and honey mustard – just when you think you’ve bitten into a sweet bite of chicken breast flavored with honey mustard, your mouth gets that tart sensation from the lemon juice. Sweet and tart – it’s a great marrying of complimentary flavors!
As for the couscous, well, I’m convinced I could eat couscous dry and raw and I’d still like it! I know, of course, not everyone feels that unconditional love for couscous that I do. In which case, this side dish is perfect because it definitely helps bring out the subtle sweetness of the honey mustard sauce for the chicken. I used just enough almond milk to soak the chopped carrots and enhance their sweetness, without creating a thick, creamy couscous, which wasn’t what I was going for. I added raisins as an extra kick of sweetness, and because the combination of carrots and raisins has always been a favorite of mine (my mom puts both of those ingredients into our Thanksgiving stuffing, along with other goodies, and it’s delish!).
And you’ll have to excuse the less-than-perfect photography today. I’m sorry! I was very hungry and was clearly not focusing on taking lovely pictures! Next time will be better, promise!
Honey Mustard Grilled Chicken (serves 2)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thawed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon honey mustard*
*Note: You could use regular mustard as well. I like honey mustard because it really brings out the sweetness of the pure honey.
1. Up to a day, but at least 30 minutes, before cooking, put the chicken breasts in a dish to marinate. Combine juice of the lemon and olive oil in a small dish and stir together. Season chicken breasts on both sides with salt and pepper. Brush lemon-oil mixture over both sides of chicken breasts, and pour remaining mixture over the breasts. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
2. When ready to cook, preheat a grill to medium heat. Combine honey and honey mustard in a small bowl. Brush both sides of chicken breasts with honey sauce. Grill the chicken for about 7 minutes on each side – up to 14-15 minutes total.
Sweet Couscous (serves 2)
2/3 cup dry whole wheat couscous
3/4 cup boiling water
1/2 cup almond milk*
1/2 cup carrots, chopped
1/4 cup raisins
dash of cinnamon
*Note: You can used regular milk if you aren’t partial to almond milk. I used almond milk for its slight sweetness, to bring out the sweetness of the carrots and to compliment the desired sweetness of the couscous dish.
1. Prepare couscous as directed on box (mix dry couscous into boiling water, and let sit for about 5 minutes).
2. Pour almond milk into a medium skillet and heat until milk is just boiling. Add carrots, stir, and let simmer for about 10 minutes, or until carrots are slightly softened. Add raisins and stir. Pour couscous into skillet and mix contents until incorporated. Season with cinnamon, salt and pepper. Serve warm.