At this, the holiday season, there seem to be more than the usual number of parties. I admit, I'm not a party animal and often R.S.V.P. and decline, but this past week there was a lunch party where I was the luncheon chairman, so not only was I there, I was in charge of the kitchen. Well, that's the theory. In practice I had a number of other women who did most of the organization and much of the work. They were more experienced and delightfully helpful. We had 35 people for lunch and it was a potluck.
Now I've been part of many, many potlucks over the years. This one was the only one I can remember, especially at Christmas time, where only one dessert was brought. We had all manner of salads and three sweet potato dishes, rolls, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, ham, but only one basket of cookies. Perhaps healthy eating is becoming fashionable?
My contributions included a dolled up version of my favorite corn salad (another future post will include the recipe), plus a new recipe that I found in Southern Living Magazine's collection of recipes called Our Best Recipes, Volume 4.
This is the perfect thing to bring to a party. It can be made ahead, no pots and pans are required so it's no-mess, the ingredients are easily found and not too expensive, it is fairly healthy, it looks festive and colorful, and it is delicious. Who could ask for more?
The dish is called Mediterranean Chicken Couscous (although I made it with chunks of turkey). It would also make a great addition to your holiday buffet. Hope you find a chance to make this one.
Mediterranean Chicken Couscous
Serves 8 (more if part of a buffet or potluck)
1 1/4 cups low-sodium fat-free chicken broth
1 (5.6 oz.) package toasted pine nut couscous mix
3 cups chopped cooked chicken (or turkey)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 (4 oz.) package crumbled feta cheese
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Garnish: fresh basil leaves
(Note: You'll need to buy a 2/3 oz. package of fresh basil and 1 rotisserie chicken to get the right amount of basil and chicken for this recipe. Substitute 3-4 teaspoons (I used 3) dried basil if you can't get fresh. 3 cups of leftover cooked chicken or turkey in large dice works fine, too.)
Microwave chicken broth and seasoning packet from couscous package at HIGH for 3-5 minutes or until broth begins to boil. Place couscous in a large bowl, and stir in broth mixture. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff couscous with a fork, stir in chicken and next 6 ingredients. Serve warm or cold. Garnish with fresh basil leaves or a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts, if desired.