This week’s theme for I heart Cooking Clubs was to find a dish from Jacques Pepin that was NOT FRENCH! THAT as NOT easy. I mean, people, Pepin is French. Why? would he cook non-French food? Because he can. And does. But there aren’t that many dishes out there that don’t have some French ‘flavor’ in them. Including this one with a North African origin – Couscous…

    …is a traditional dish of semolina (granules of durum wheat) cooked by steaming. Traditionally it is served with a meat or vegetable stew spooned over it.

But why would Pepin cook Couscous? I think I found the answer.

    Couscous was voted as the third-favourite dish of French people in 2011.

So maybe it IS a French dish after all. Whatever it is it is easy to cook with and can be a delicious dish. this version is Green Couscous.


and is cooked with a mixture of different fresh herbs.

    1 cup loosely packed fresh herb leaves (a mixture of chives, parsley, tarragon, and basil)
    2 garlic cloves
    3/4 cup boiling water
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    1 cup instant couscous
    1/2 teaspoon salt

Add the herbs, and garlic to 1/4 cup of boiling water in a mini-chopper and process for about 30 seconds, or until the mix is smooth.

Add the couscous and salt to the melted butter in a saucepan and coat the couscous with the butter. Mix in the herb puree and 1/2 cup boiling water. Remove from the heat, cover, and let it sit for about 10 minutes.

Fluff the couscous with a fork.

I found the couscous to be a little bland in flavor so I added a little more salt and that helped somewhat. On it’s own it really doesn’t stand out so I decided to do something with it. I stuffed a chicken breast. Not bad.

    Pound the breast til about 1/4″ thick {Mine was not quite thin enough.}Salt and pepper (and maybe some other spices) the interior of the breast and then layer the couscous mixture on the chicken. Roll up jelly roll style and fasten with toothpicks. Season the outside of the roll well. Brown the roll on all sides in an oven proof skillet and then bake at 400 for about 12 – 15 minutes or until done. Remove picks and serve on a bed of couscous.


The seasoning from the chicken ‘leaked’ into the couscous and added more flavor. I will make this one again.

Check out the other non-French dishes over at IHCC.