Today was the first really muggy day of the season. Not my favorite, when the weatherman starts talking about dewpoints. I remember watching the forecast last summer, in my hugely pregnant days, to find out how hideous my day was going to be. Today would have been one of those dreaded days. Not that I enjoyed being so sticky today, but hey, at least I wasn’t pregnant.
The heat and humidity, combined with the threat of severe afternoon thunderstorms, kept us from our longer afternoon walk. Instead, after the PM nap, we slathered on some sunscreen and sat outside for the short while we had before the dark clouds and thunder raced in. I brought out some wooden spoons and metal bowls, finally remembering one of those divinely simple toy ideas… and they were a hit! Not only were the spoons reasonably safe to chew on, but Daniel figured out how to bang it on the bowl after only being shown once or twice. Not bad! A future percussionist? 🙂
And as soon as I knew what a sticky day it would be, I instantly knew that I would make one of my summer standards for dinner. On a day like this, I want dinner to be room temperature at the absolute most. Even better is something that comes out of the fridge, but I need more than a lettuce-based salad to satisfy for dinner. This couscous and chicken salad is a favorite of mine as soon as the weather is warm enough. It’s easy, fast, and tastes even better the next day, straight out of the fridge. Make it at least an hour or two ahead of time, if you can, to let the flavors meld.
Chicken & Couscous Salad
Adapted from a Cooking Light recipe
1 c. uncooked couscous
1 1/4 c. chicken broth
2-3 c. diced or shredded cooked chicken (I like to roast bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts)
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced
1 large or 2 small/medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
4-6 scallions, chopped
parsley, if you have it, chopped
1/4 c. white wine vinegar
2 T. olive oil
1 t. cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
salt & pepper
- Bring broth to a boil in small saucepan, add couscous. Cover and remove from heat, let stand ~5 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Move cooked couscous to a large bowl, fluff with fork, and let cool slightly.
- Add chicken, veggies, and parsley to couscous, toss to combine.
- In a separate bowl, combine vinegar, oil, cumin, and garlic for the vinaigrette. Season generously with salt & pepper. Pour over couscous mixture and stir to combine.
- Cover and refrigerate. Serve cold or at room temperature, do not heat.
Obviously, it’s a salad, so put in whatever you think will taste good. The original recipe has radishes and pine nuts, and no tomato. Though I will say that I tried feta one time, and it just didn’t work.