As mentioned earlier this week, the rapidly-devoured and much-loved chicken apple sausage makes another appearance.
This time, in a completely different environment of ingredients, the chicken apple sausage (yes, you can sub just about any type of precooked sausage or kielbasa) is browned with an aromatic variety of onions, garlic and delectable spices. Tossed with whole wheat couscous, plumped-up dried cranberries and toasted pine nuts, this mostly-skillet meal is packed, and I mean packed, with incredible flavor.
When I saw the recipe posted on my friend, Lana’s family blog (hey, Lana!), it called to me. We love couscous but I struggle to find different ways to serve it. We love chicken apple sausage (a recent find on our part!). We love toasted pine nuts. Like, reeeaally love toasted pine nuts. And we love the cumin/coriander/curry mix. So I guess it should come as no surprise that we loved this meal.
Healthy, filling and utterly fantastic in it’s yumminess, this should go into your meal rotation ASAP. I know the combination of ingredients may strike many of you as unusual and there are lots of you who aren’t sure your taste buds will welcome such a diversion of textures and ingredients, but throw those mainstream, plain, and dare I say boring prejudices to the wayside! If my four young boys and hot-dog-loving husband can ooh and aah over this meal, I promise, you will, too. Money back guaranteed! Er…or something like that.
Note: I like to use Trader Joe's whole wheat couscous. When I cook it, I use chicken broth instead of water to give it a boost in flavor.
- 1/3 cup pine nuts
- 1/2 yellow onion, sliced into thin half moons
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 12 ounces precooked sweet apple chicken sausages, or other type sausage/kielbasa, cut in 1/4-inch rounds
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth, divided
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup dry whole wheat couscous
- Start the couscous cooking according to the package directions. I like to cook the couscous in chicken broth to give it a boost in flavor.
- Meanwhile, in a large non-stick skillet (12-inch), toast the pine nuts over medium-low to medium heat, tossing frequently, until they are golden. Remove the pine nuts to a small bowl and return the skillet to medium heat.
- Heat the olive oil until rippling and hot. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to turn translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the chicken sausage and brown lightly, about 2-3 minutes. Add 1/3 cup of the chicken broth to the skillet with the salt, pepper, thyme, cumin, coriander and curry powder. Stir to combine and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook until the onion is very tender and most of the liquid has evaporated and/or absorbed. It should still be slightly wet but not soupy.
- Add the cranberries and the remaining chicken broth (2/3 cup) to the skillet. Simmer for 2-3 minutes until the cranberries are heated through and softened a bit. Stir in the cooked couscous and let the entire mixture simmer for 2-3 minutes until the liquid is mostly absorbed but the couscous is not dry. It should still have some tender moisture to it but not be saturated with broth.
- Stir in the toasted pine nuts and serve immediately.