Test Kitchen - Mediterranean Chicken with Pesto Couscous

I don't like making anything complicated because I want to be able to replicate it later. One late night, I decided I ought to work on our Test Kitchen ingredient of Israeli couscous. The typical routes of making a salad or throwing together a childish dish were not appealing. What about putting some basil pesto vinaigrette on it though? We had a bottle of it in the refrigerator. What to pair it with though? It seemed like a Mediterranean flavor, the pesto in couscous, so I came up with this Mediterranean chicken. It's a dry rub that infuses its flavors into the thin chicken breast to keep it moist and still flavorful. Check out the easy recipe below!

Step 1: Ingredients (yields 4 servings)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried red chili pepper
  • 1.5 lbs chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 8 oz Israeli couscous, dry
  • basil pesto vinaigrette, to taste

Step 2: Prepping ingredients
Mix together all of the spices. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Slice chicken breasts into four even pieces and flatten out with meat pounder. Rub dry spice rub all over breasts and let sit.

Step 3: Finishing
Place chicken onto a baking sheet and into the oven for 25-30 minutes. Prepare couscous as directions require on box/bag (you can change out half of the water used for chicken broth). Mix then with basil pesto vinaigrette before serving with chicken. Enjoy!

The next Test Kitchen ingredient: cloves
"Cloves are used in the cuisine of Asian, African, and the Near and Middle East, lending flavour to meats, curries, and marinades, as well as complement to fruit such as apples, pears, or rhubarb. In Mexican cuisine, cloves are best known as clavos de olor, and often accompany cumin and cinnamon. About 85% of cloves' powerful taste is imparted by the chemical eugenol, and the quantity of the spice required is typically relatively small. It pairs well with cinnamon, allspice, vanilla, red wine, and basil, as well as onion, citrus peel, star anise, or peppercorns." [Wikipedia]

We just got a bottle of whole cloves to play with. What should we do with them? Your suggestions are always welcome!

Photography by Duc Duong.