Saturday, March 24, 2012

Avocado Chicken and Couscous

Avocados are on sale again, and I was looking for a recipe to use them cooked. I combined four different recipes and came up with this one. It is a flattened chicken breast with an avocado fan on top covered with melted cheeses and nestled up to a mound of colorful avocado couscous. It was beautiful, very delicious and not too difficult to make. While the chicken was in the oven, I made the couscous.

I was craving a decent Blue cheese and recently bought a nice chunk downtown at the Italian deli. The price was pretty good. They have Gorgonzola for the same price. I couldn’t find anything similar at Kroger or WM for even twice the price!

Serves 4

For chicken:
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
2 firm ripe avocados
1 cup shredded Monterey jack, Co-jack or Mexican Blend cheese
1/4 cup crumbled Blue cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 10x15 inch shallow baking sheet lightly with canola oil spray.

Trim chicken breasts, if needed, rinse with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place between two sheets of plastic wrap or in resealable plastic bag and pound to flatten to 1/4-inch thickness.

In 6x10 or 8x8 inch flat baking dish, combine cornmeal, flour and seasonings. Dredge flattened breasts in flour mixture, one at a time, flipping to coat each side.

In large nonstick frying pan, heat oil and margarine. Cook chicken in hot oil for 2 minutes per side or until lightly browned. Remove chicken from pan and place on prepared baking sheet.

Cut avocados in half and remove pit. Read this link for explicit directions to prepare avocadoes: Simply Guacamole.

Slice lengthwise 5 times from stem end, being careful not to cut through stem end. Carefully peel, keeping slices together.  Put cut side down and press down gently on avocado with palm of hand to fan slices nicely. Lift with knife or spatula to top of chicken.

Sprinkle with cheeses and bake for 15 minutes or until chicken is done and cheese is melted.

Serve with the following recipe for couscous.

For couscous:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup corn kernels, drained
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1/2 cup couscous
1 cup water
1 tablespoon chicken base
1/2 medium avocado, diced

Heat olive oil in an 8-10 inch skillet, and sauté the green bell pepper, corn, garlic and tomatoes over low heat for approximately 5 minutes. Add the water and chicken base and bring to a boil. Stir in the couscous. Simmer over medium low heat, while stirring, for approximately 2 minutes. Turn off heat and cover. Just before serving, stir in the diced avocado.

Inspirations for this recipe:

For the chicken - Avocado Chicken Melt from Penny

For the couscous - Chicken Breast with Avocado Risotto
Chad,, 21 Jun 2006

For the avocado - Avocado Glazed Chicken Breasts
~*Piper*~ ,, 28 Feb 2012

For the Blue cheese - Monterey Avocado Shrimp
Sandy,, 29 Jan 2010

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