Monday, July 18, 2016

FFFB Mystery Box Challenge - Chipotle Pecan Chicken with Cold Couscous Salad


The Fuckin Fab Food Bloggers are at it again! We sent each other Mystery Boxes for our #WhatsIntheBox Chopped-esque challenge. I sent a box to Matt of Nomigeddon and I received a box from Julie of Bread, Booze, Bacon.

Here's my video of my unboxing, which I originally posted to our #FFFB Facebook group:

So my items were... Israeli couscous, bacon jam, and pecans. All from one of my favorite stores: Trader Joe's. Delicious! But how to combine them? What to do, what to do... First I wondered if I could somehow make a dessert. Perhaps use the couscous as tapioca? But the couscous was a little too savory for that.

Then the idea came to me to make a cold couscous salad. Light, refreshing, and summery! But I wanted a more substantial meal last night, so I decided to kind-of cheat and make two separate components to the same overall meal.

I made pecan crusted chicken drumsticks (with chipotle mayo as the binder) with the couscous salad and made the bacon jam into a vinaigrette for the salad. The result was extremely tasty! I never would have put these things together, but they paired beautifully and I made a delicious salad with chicken.

Check out the rest of the FFFB crew's recipes, too!

Chipotle Pecan Chicken with Cold Couscous Salad
  • 5 chicken drumsticks
  • 1/2 cup mayonaise
  • 1 cup honey roasted pecans (I used about 1/4 cup of almond meal as well)
  • 1 tbsp chipotle sauce (the liquid from a can of chipotle peppers)
  • 1 1/3 cups Isralei cous cous
  • 1 vegetable boullion cube
  • ~1 cup chopped veggies (I used cucumber, shallot, carrot, tomato)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp bacon jam
  • 1 tsp chopped shallot
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic

-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the chicken drumsticks with the mayo and the chipotle sauce in a zip bag. Set aside for 10 minutes.

-Pulse the pecans and almond meal in a food processor until fine. Roll the mayo-coated chicken in the mixture and place onto a well-oiled wire rack on top of a cookie sheet.  Spray liberally with olive oil. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken reads 165 degrees F and the juices run clear.

-Prepare the cous cous according to the package (equal parts water plus the boullion cube) and let cool completely. Stir in the feta and the chopped veggies and refrigerate until cold.

-Prepare the vinaigrette: mix together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, bacon jam, chopped shallot, and garlic. Shake vigerously. Pour about 1/3 cup of the vinaigrette into the couscous.

-Serve hot chicken and cold salad together.


  1. OMG lucky girl with the bacon jam!!! YUMMMMM! Can't wait to see how it looks!

  2. OMG lucky girl with the bacon jam!!! YUMMMMM! Can't wait to see how it looks!

  3. That chicken looks SO crispy and delicious - great pair w that couscous. YUM!

  4. That sounds freaking amazing! Time for another TJ's run to get ingredients. :)

  5. I like to eat too much chicken fry. Really ur recipe, help me for next my new recipe.