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.