I was in the mood to try making some sort of international fare - something different from what I've made in the past. Most of my other cooking has been Italian, so I decided to turn south and try something African. I searched Epicurious for something appealing, and came across this recipe - with a few changes to better suit my tastes.
Recipe - adapted from Bon Appétit, December 2002
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 medium sweet onions, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar (packed)
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
Heat the olive oil in a heavy (I prefer cast-iron) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chopped onions and saute, stirring every 5 minutes, until browned. Add the sugar and cinnamon, and continually stir for an additional 5 minutes, or until the onions are soft. Scrape out of the skillet and set aside.
1 medium sweet onion, roughly chopped
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon cumin
3/4 teaspoon ginger
3/4 teaspoon paprika
5 thinly sliced chicken breasts
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes (1 can)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 handful cilantro, chopped
2 cups couscous
In a food processor, add the onion, lemon juice, cumin, ginger, and paprika. Turn the processor on to high, until all the ingredients are puréed. Pour this marinade into a plastic bag, and add the chicken. Squeeze out any excess air and place in the refrigerator for 30-90 minutes. Heat the olive oil in a large non-reactive skillet (not cast iron - the tomatoes will react with it) over medium-high heat. Remove the chicken from marinade and cook until lightly browned, about 2 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken from skillet and pour in the marinade. Add the diced tomatoes and broth, and boil until thickened. Return chicken and braise until cooked (cut into the thickest part of each chicken to make sure there's no remaining pink). Remove chicken and set aside. Add cilantro and continue cooking sauce, stirring frequently, until thickened to an almost paste-like consistency. Pour the sauce into a separate bowl. Prepare couscous according to package directions.
Spoon out a bed of forked couscous, a bit over 1/3 c. for each serving. Add a spiced chicken breast, and spoon on some sauce. Add the cinnamon onions, and sprinkle with cilantro for presentation.
I'm very happy with how this recipe turned out. The chicken is moist, and all the spices together work perfectly. While the chicken and sauce are delicious, when it's combined with the onions and couscous, the flavors combine wonderfully. The meal isn't too heavy, and would be a great course any day.