Chicken Dolmas with TriColor Couscous

  • Yield servings


1 1/2 cups good quality balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small fennel bulb halved, cored, and diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 pound ground chicken half white half dark meat (your meat counter will grind for you)
7 ounces can artichoke hearts drained
1 small roasted red pepper
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, in oil, drained
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
-- salt & pepper to taste
1 -- jar grape leaves (30 leaves) rinsed and drained
1 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 cups tri colored couscous
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup basil flavored olive oil
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley coarsely chopped


In a small saucepan, heat balsamic vinegar to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half and becomes a thick syrup, about 25 minutes. In a large, deep skillet, heat oil and fennel, cooking until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and ground chicken and cook until browned, breaking up the meat into small pieces, about 6-8 minutes.

While the chicken is browning, combine artichoke hearts, red pepper, and sun dried tomato in mini food processor. Pulse until well combined. Remove chicken from heat and add mixture from food processor, oregano, rosemary, and breadcrumbs. Mix well and salt and pepper to taste. Allow to cool slightly.

Lay out the grape leaves, shiny side down about place about 2 tablespoons of the filing near the stem end of the leaf. Fold the stem end over the filling, then fold both sides towards the middle, and roll up into a cigar shape. Continue with all 30 leaves. Place the dolmades in the large skillet (wipe if out with paper towel if needed). Pour chicken broth and lemon juice over the leaves. The liquid should reach about half way up the dolmades. Cover the pan and simmer over low heat for 30-40 minutes, until the dolmades are tender when pierced with a fork.

During the last 10 minutes of the cooking, bring water, salt, and butter to a boil in a 3 quart saucepan. Add couscous and stir quickly. Remove from heat and cover. Allow to sit for 4-6 minutes. Fluff with a fork and stir in pine nuts and raisins. To serve: Divide the couscous in six pasta bowls. Drizzle basil flavored olive oil over the couscous. Place five dolmades on top of the couscous in a star pattern. Drizzle balsamic syrup over the dolmades and sprinkle with parsley.

Servings: 6
Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Ready in: 1 hour and 30 minutes



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