Serves 4, Hands-on time 40 minutes, Total time 1 hour

1 tbsp safflower oil
1½ lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4), cut into 2-inch pieces
Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
Olive oil cooking spray
½ large white onion, chopped
1 cup chopped carrots
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp red chile flakes, or to taste
1 tbsp white whole-wheat flour
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2½ cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 dried Medjool dates, chopped (about 1/3 cup)
5 apricots, pitted and quartered
8 large green olives, pitted and quartered
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup whole-wheat couscous
1 tbsp pine nuts, toasted
2 tbsp chopped fresh mint

Heat oil in a heavy pot or Dutch oven on medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Add to pot and cook, without moving, until browned on bottom, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip over and repeat on opposite side. Transfer to a large bowl (chicken will not be cooked through at this point). If bits of chicken are stuck to pot, add ¼ cup water and scrape pot with a spatula as water boils; add to chicken.

Coat pot with cooking spray and decrease heat to medium. Add onion and carrots. Sprinkle with a pinch each salt and pepper and cook until soft and lightly browned, 6 to 7 minutes. Add ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, chile flakes and flour. Cook for 1 minute, stirring often. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add broth and dates and bring to a steady simmer.

Add chicken and any juices back to pot. Reduce heat to maintain a slow, gentle simmer (low to medium-low; you should see just a few bubbles slowly surfacing at a time). Cook for 10 minutes, uncovered and stirring occasionally. Add apricots and simmer gently until soft, but not falling apart, about 10 minutes. Check chicken to ensure doneness. Stir in olives and lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning, if desired.

Meanwhile, prepare couscous according to package directions.

To serve, add about ½ cup couscous to each of 4 bowls. Divide stew evenly among bowls and top each with equal amounts of pine nuts and mint. (Stew may be made up to 2 days in advance; cover and refrigerate. Reheat gently on low heat. Add pine nuts and mint, and prepare couscous just before serving.)

Nutrients per serving (2 cups stew, 1 scant tsp pine nuts, 1/2 cup couscous) Calories 454, Total Fat 5g (Sat 1g, Mono 4g, Poly 2g), Carbs 49g, Fiber 7g, Sugar 22g, Protein 48g, Sodium 369mg, Cholesteral 99mg

Clean Eating, JUNE 2011, Page 46

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