Cashew Chicken with Couscous & Grapefruit
To me, it’s really no coincidence at all that fresh citrus is at its peak just as the weather here in the northern hemisphere is at its worst. When sunshine is abundant, the food I eat doesn’t seem to matter as much in terms of my overall mood. But when the weather is dark and rainy/snowy for days on end, something as simple as a great grapefruit for breakfast really does brighten my day and lift my spirits.
So far this winter, I’ve been a little obsessed with Winter Sweetz grapefruit. While many people automatically envision extreme bitterness and mouth-puckering sourness when they think of grapefruit, that isn’t the case at all with Winter Sweetz. These Texas-grown grapefruit hit peak sweetness from November to March. Ripening during the winter leads to a sweeter fruit, with bright colors, juicy segments, and an intoxicating aroma. These babies are truly unlike any other grapefruit I’ve ever had, and I’ve found that the best way to eat them is to segment them in order to remove the pith and peel. Once the grapefruit is segmented, you can eat as-is or incorporate into a recipe like this Cashew Chicken with Couscous & Grapefruit!
One of my best “home chef” tips is plating simple dishes the same way a restaurant would. Usually that means a base of starch or grain (in this case, Israeli couscous flecked with herbs), with the protein resting on top. Here, I’ve crusted some boneless chicken thighs with a mixture of cashews and breadcrumbs, then baked them until crispy.
My all-time favorite way to make a dish feel everyday fancy is to plate it with a small, fresh salad perched up on top of the protein. Here, I’ve combined those sweet, juicy grapefruit segments with some fresh arugula and a simple drizzle of olive oil. That fresh salad pairs so nicely with the rich flavors of the chicken and couscous. Go ahead – give this a try like the home chef that you are!
For more information about Winter Sweetz grapefruit, please visit WinterSweetz.com and follow them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. To learn how to segment grapefruit like a pro, check out this video. It’s exactly how I learned to segment citrus in culinary school!
For the Cashew Chicken:
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1/2 cup roasted salted cashews
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 eggs
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
For the Couscous:
- 1 cup Israeli (pearl) couscous
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
For the Salad:
- 3 cups baby arugula
- 2 Winter Sweetz grapefruit, peeled and segmented
- 1-1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- Make the Cashew Chicken: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Spray rimmed baking pan with cooking spray. In food processor fitted with knife blade attachment, pulse cashews until finely ground.
- Place ground cashews in shallow dish. Add breadcrumbs, salt and pepper; stir until well combined. In second shallow dish, whisk eggs. Working with one piece at a time, dip chicken in egg, shaking off excess, then dip in cashew mixture. Place on prepared baking pan; lightly spray chicken with cooking spray. Transfer chicken to 400 degree oven and bake 18 to 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F, turning once.
- Meanwhile, make the Couscous: Prepare couscous according to package directions. Stir in mint and parsley.
- Make the Salad: In large bowl, toss arugula, grapefruit and oil until well combined.
- Divide couscous between 4 plates. Place chicken over couscous and top with salad.
Home Chef Tip: When choosing a Winter Sweetz grapefruit, don't be afraid of scarring on the peel, AKA "tropical beauty marks." It's just really windy in Texas, and that scarring is caused by the fruit swaying in the trees. The grapefruit inside is just delicious!
Disclosure: This was a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Winter Sweetz. Sponsored posts help me pay for the costs associated with this blog (groceries…lots of groceries), and help support me as I pursue a career in recipe development and food photography. All opinions are 100% my own.