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I'd like to take a moment to introduce you to your next go-to weeknight meal, because that's what this dish has become for me. I am a kale-lover at heart (I was bouncing up and down in my chair like a little girl when I poked through our recent collection of 46 kale recipes). It's naturally the first thing I reach for in the produce aisle.
But when I was thinking of a green vegetable to pair with shredded poached chicken and couscous—here flavored with curry and topped with crunchy pepitas and fresh cilantro—I decided to force myself out of the box, opting for stalks of swiss chard in its place.
And man, am I glad I did. This nutrient-packed leafy green is a great substitute for kale or spinach; it provides not only a beautiful color contrast to the yellow hue of the dish, but a heartiness from its crunchy stems, as well. The lemon, curry, and cilantro all help round out the chard's slightly bitter taste to keep the dish balanced.
The process here is all about streamlining while keeping a strong eye on technique. My foolproof poaching method for chicken is to cover it with cold water, bring it to a simmer, then cover it and let it sit off the heat, gently cooking through to the core without drying out. In the meantime, you can prepare your chard, wash your cilantro, and toast your pepitas.
Once the chicken is cooked, I use the same (chicken-scented) water to simmer my couscous while I shred up the poached chicken. Put it all back together, and you've got a hearty meal that comes together in a single pot in under thirty minutes. Talk about maximizing your time!
I have a confession: For lunch the next day, I topped a bowl of the cold couscous with a leftover marinated kale salad and sat there shaking my head thinking how, despite my efforts to branch out, I had somehow managed incorporate kale into this dish. Clearly, I have some issues.
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