Haha, I used to avoid those cooking game show type things on the Food Network or Cooking Channel (cupcake wars just gives me anxiety), but after participating in the first Chopped at Home challenge, I find myself watching the show on occasion. The last one I saw had viewers vote for the basket ingredients which included cow eyeballs! Ick!
Luckily, the at home challenge has much more forgiving ingredients. This time it is Mexican blend shredded cheese, chicken tenders, salsa, and couscous. All ingredients the average home cook has used before and almost make sense together. I love Mexican food, so the Mexican cheese blend round sounds delicious!
If you have never had couscous before, it is kind of like quinoa. I used to cook with it a lot more as a rice substitute before quinoa became so popular as a super food edging out some of the shelf space at grocery stores couscous once occupied. You can get different sized couscous, pea-sized to itty bitty grain size.
I was in the mood for some enchiladas, so this dish could easily be wrapped up in tortillas and baked for 20-25 minutes instead. But this way, we are cutting the carbs and attempting an artsy presentation that is really easy. Word of caution, you could use four pots/pans for this dish (which sounds like a cleaning nightmare to me)... Or you could use two and have to be watching things a little more attentively. Read all if the directions before starting the recipe (best practice for any recipe). :)Yum
1 lb chicken breast
1 lb chicken breast
1 cup couscous
1 small onion, diced
Half a bell pepper, diced
2 tbsp salsa
2 tbsp creme fraiche (sour cream)
1 cup Mexican cheese blend (or pepper jack)
1.5 cup tomato juice
1 tbsp chili powder
Salt and pepper
1. Prepare couscous according to package (usually 1 cup couscous 1.5 cup water, cover, bring to a boil, then simmer 15 minutes while checking on it). Set aside.
2. Clean sauce pan and combine tomato juice and chili powder, leave on medium high heat until the juice reduces to form enchilada sauce thickness.
3. While the enchilada sauce simmers, cook chicken in a medium heat pan with salt, pepper, and a sprinkle of chili powder. Cook for 4 minutes on each side. Shred the chicken with two forks once it has rested a minute or two. Set aside.
4. Cook peppers and onions in pan that the chicken was in (still on medium heat) for 5 minutes. Lower heat to medium low and add couscous, salsa, and creme fraiche. Stir to combine. Then add the shredded cheese and the couscous will start forming a paste like texture. For a perfect mound of fajita couscous, scoop into measuring cup and bang it gently onto the plate. (Otherwise just scoop on to plate.)
5. Place shredded chicken on top of couscous and drizzle enchilada sauce over top. Enjoy!