Chicken Couscous Salad with Oranges, Dates and Pistachios

Store-bought rotisserie chicken can fill an immediate need. Like it did for me yesterday.

I had a crazy-busy day and there was no way I could cook dinner and I don’t like to eat out when it’s after 8 p.m. and I still have to go home to change clothes because I spilled coffee on my tee shirt and one of my grandchildren also wiped lentil casserole on me.

So I stopped off on my way home and bought a cooked chicken (and some cole slaw and green beans).

It was fine. Rotisserie chickens are usually too salty for my tastes, so I like to use leftovers in a way that will lessen the salt sting.

And I do have leftovers. So today, when I have another busy day, though not as filled as yesterday, I’m going to cut the chicken up into a salad. I’ll cut the ingredients up before I leave for the day, make the couscous and put it aside and also make the dressing ahead. About 30 minutes before I serve the salad I’ll mix it all together.

This is the salad I think I’ll make today:

Chicken Couscous Salad with Oranges, Dates and Pistachios

1-1/4 cups chicken stock

1 cup Israeli couscous

2-3 cups diced cooked chicken

1 cup chopped dates

1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

1/2 cup chopped red onion or chopped scallion

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

3/4 cup shelled pistachio nuts

2 navel oranges, peeled; cut flesh into bite-size chunks

6 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup orange juice

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/2 to 1 teaspoon harissa (or use Sriracha sauce to taste) or some cayenne pepper

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring the stock to a boil over high heat, add the couscous, stir, lower the heat to a simmer, cover the pan and cook for 8-9 minutes or until the liquid has been absorbed. Place the couscous in a bowl. Add the chicken, dates, apricots, onion, parsley, mint, pistachios and orange sections. Toss to distribute ingredients. In a separate bowl or jar mix the olive oil, orange juice, lemon juice and harissa. About 15-30 minutes before serving, pour the dressing over the ingredients and toss. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 4-6 servings