Bacon, mustard and maple syrup turn chicken breasts into taste sensation

 

Main dish

Maple-Dijon Chicken With Bacon Couscous

If you don’t have 2 tablespoons of fat in the skillet after frying the bacon, supplement with vegetable oil.

1/4 cup Dijon mustard

1/4 cup maple syrup

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 slices bacon, diced

4 (4- to 5-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed

1 shallot, peeled and minced

1 1/4 cups fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth

1 cup pearl (Israeli) couscous

1 tablespoon parsley, freshly chopped

2 teaspoons cider vinegar

In a small bowl, whisk the mustard, maple syrup, salt and pepper; set aside. In a 12-inch nonstick skillet cook the bacon over medium heat until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate.

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from skillet and return pan to medium-high heat until fat shimmers. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Cook until golden brown and meat registers 160 degrees, about 6 minutes per side. Transfer to platter, brush with mustard mixture, and tent loosely with aluminum foil. (You might not use all of the mustard mixture depending on the size of the chicken breasts.)

Add shallot to now-empty skillet and cook over medium heat until softened, about 3 minutes. Add broth and bring to simmer. Stir in couscous, cover, remove from heat, and let stand for 5 minutes. Stir cooked bacon, parsley and vinegar into couscous. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve couscous and chicken with any remaining Dijon sauce on the side. Makes 4 servings.

Source: Adapted from Cook’s Country magazine, January 2013.

Per serving: 490 calories (18 percent from fat), 10 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 46 g carbohydrates, 54 g protein, 818 mg sodium, 129 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber.


Detroit Free Press

When the question, “What’s for dinner?” comes up, having a few go-to one-skillet recipes makes it easy. Today’s recipe is one to have tucked away. It makes use of key ingredients to have on hand — boneless, skinless chicken breasts, bacon, Dijon mustard and maple syrup.

Who doesn’t love bacon? Pardon the cliché, but it’s now as American as apple pie. And before long, someone will put it in apple pie — if they haven’t already.

Never be without bacon in your home was one slice of advice Lucinda Scala Quinn offered up in her 2009 book Mad Hungry — Feeding Men and Boys: Recipes, Strategies & Survival Techniques (Artisan, $18.95).

“You can always whip something up if you can layer it with bacon,” Quinn said in an interview.

Quinn is the executive director of food and entertaining at Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia. In the next few weeks her Mad Hungry Cravings (Artisan, $27.95) will be out. In it, she shares her take on ethnic restaurant and takeout recipe favorites.

Not only is bacon an ingredient in today’s recipe, the chicken is cooked in the leftover bacon fat. (I didn’t say the recipe was low-fat.) You can use any favorite chopped bacon in this recipe, but pepper bacon gives the Dijon sauce zip.

The cooked and chopped bacon also becomes an ingredient in the couscous, which is cooked in the same skillet.

Regular couscous is found near the pasta and rice in most grocery stores. It takes just 5 minutes to make. Pearl (sometimes called Israeli) couscous is pasta that looks like tiny beads. It takes about twice as long to cook. Use either for this dish, but the pearl couscous adds a heartier texture and flavor.

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