Ok. I guess it’s time to confess something. I joined Weight Watchers a few weeks ago. I suppose the decision came when I realized that I wasn’t losing the baby weight on my own, especially without exercising regularly, but I’ve also been noticing that my eating habits have become pretty terrible over the past few years. Mostly because I’ve been choosing carbs over vegetables at almost every meal.
The program has given me motivation to create some new, healthier recipes lately, and this is one of them. It’s a classic carb dish, reimagined. The puttanesca sauce and chicken are the stars of the recipe, while the Israeli couscous provides the much
needed wanted carbs.
Puttanesa sauce is one of those things that’s always been a mystery to me. I knew what it was, what was in it, but my mind was boggled by how all of its ingredients could work together to create something great. I mean, olives, capers and anchovies sound like a strange combination, to say the least. But, when I saw a recipe for spaghetti puttanesca on Pinterest last week, I was struck with a new sense of adventure and decided to give it a try – in a healthier way.
I made this chicken puttanesca with chicken tenders instead of chicken breast to decrease the cooking time, but you could easily use either (just remember to increase the cooking time for chicken breasts), The tenders make it a really quick meal that’s great for weeknights. If you wanted to fancy things up a bit, you could roast a whole cut up chicken in the oven and make the sauce and couscous separately.
Chicken Puttanesca with Israeli Couscous
- 1 cup Israeli couscous
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken tenders
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- Salt & pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup chopped onion (about 1/4 large onion)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoon capers
- 1/4 cup halved kalamata olives
- 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 15-ounce cans diced tomatoes
- Cook Israeli couscous according to package directions.
- Liberally season chicken tenders with salt, pepper and the dried basil.
- In a large skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil to medium-high. Add chicken and cook until golden brown, turning once (about 3 - 5 minutes per side, depending on thickness). Remove chicken from pan and tent with foil to keep warm.
- Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining oil and onion. Sauté until translucent, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and crushed red peppers and cook until fragrant.
- Add remaining ingredients, Israeli couscous and return chicken to pan. Simmer for 5 minutes.