Chicken Meatballs and Caprese Couscous
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
Ingredients
Meatballs:
  • 1 lb ground chicken (you can use any other kind of ground meat instead)
  • 1 onion, minced
  • ½ cup panko bread crumbs
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • ¼ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • ⅓ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1½ Tablespoons oil
Couscous:
  • 1½ cups green beans, cut into 1 - 1½ inch pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, cut in half
  • 6-8 oz mozzarella balls or regular mozzarella cubed
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 2 cups chicken broth (warm/hot)
  • fresh parsley and basil, chopped, to taste
Instructions
  1. Combine all the ingredients for the meatballs in a large bowl. (I usually pour the milk into the breadcrumbs, so that it soaks in before adding it to the ground meat mixture.) Mix all the ingredients together until you have a smooth mixture. With slightly moistened hands, form little meatballs. I like to make mine on the smaller side, because they are extra cute that way and just because I prefer smaller meatballs.
  2. At this point, I also boil some salted water in a medium pot and add the cut green beans to it for about 3 minutes and then drain them. This is a really important step because blanching the green beans will set the color to a lovely vibrant green and it's important to cook the green beans before adding them to the couscous, because couscous cooks up in 5 minutes, which will not be enough time for the green beans to cook through at all. You basically want all the ingredients that you want to be cooked to already be cooked BEFORE adding the couscous.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat up ¾ Tablespoon of oil on medium high heat. Add part of the meatballs and cook them until golden on both sides, about 3 minutes per side.
  4. Honestly, the time depends on the size of your meatballs, so the bigger they are, the longer they will take to cook. Mine were really tiny, so they cooked really fast. Set the cooked meatballs aside, while continuing to cook the remaining meatballs, adding more oil as needed. You should have enough oil left over when you're done cooking the meatballs to use to cook the onions, but if you don't just add more oil or butter to the skillet. If the bottom of the pan starts to get really dark and grimy, just wipe it out. Cover the cooked meatballs, so that they stay warm while you are cooking the couscous.
  5. Add the chopped onion and garlic to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and cook on medium heat until tender, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add the tomatoes and the beans to the skillet and then pour in the warm/hot chicken broth to the skillet. Bring the broth to a boil.
  7. Add the couscous to the skillet, distributing it evenly so that it's all covered with the broth. Turn off the heat, cover the skillet and let it stand for 5 minutes.
  8. Fluff up the couscous with a fork. At this point, add the mozzarella balls and the fresh herbs (parsley and basil) to the couscous. Don't the mozzarella balls look adorable? But don't worry, if you can't find them in your grocery store or just want to use regular mozzarella, you certainly can. Just cut up mozzarella into cubes and it will work just as well. I recommend using whole milk mozzarella though, since it will have a much better texture. The mozzarella will start to get warm and melted around the edges from the hot couscous, but since it's added at the very end, it will keep it's shape. It's SO awesome.
  9. Serve with the meatballs on the side or return the meatballs to the skillet and serve it all together.
Recipe by Olga's Flavor Factory at http://www.olgasflavorfactory.com/recipes/main-course/poultry/chicken-meatballs-with-caprese-couscous/