Thursday, March 27, 2014

Chicken Fried Couscous- Fancy Frugal Foodie #3

When leftovers get married and have a baby, its chicken fried couscous.

These fancy frugal foodie posts are not very popular.  I think it's because the pictures always look pretty bad, but the pictures look bad because I make this food later at night and out of leftovers, so my lighting isn't as good and the colors are never as vibrant, but the food is good, so I will share on.  If ever become a great photographer, this won't be an issue anymore.

Now that the needless self-deprecation is out of the way, I will tell the six of you who are still reading an amusing story about grocery shopping during our early marriage.

Before we ever met, the Mad Scientist was a mad couponer.  He even subscribed to a coupon matching service that would help you figure out which coupons to print, which to clip and where to shop.  Coupons tend to be for processed foods and hygiene products both of which I tend to avoid (kidding); this means that even the best couponers have to supplement their stockpiles with things like produce, meat, and herbs and spices (the savvy couponers get these on sale with same as cash store coupons).

This is not a story about coupons, but about grocery shopping, so I digress.  Usually when it came time to do our weekly grocery shopping, the Mad Scientist made a list of items to buy for pennies on the dollar at three different grocery stores, and I skimmed the weekly circulars and mentally made a meal plan with virtually no consideration for the things the Mad Scientist purchased.

Over time, our stockpile grew quite large, and we were not eating very much of it (except the cereal.  We were making our way through that at pretty good clip).  This large stockpile of food grew and grew, much to my dissatisfaction, but being both female and of Scandanavian descent I thought a passive aggressive approach would lead my husband to quit stockpiling (marriage tip- this is not helpful).

So to send the message that we should quit stockpiling since we really aren't preppers (and if you are don't you think this should have come up in pre-marital counseling), I decided to start a stockpile of my own.  I guess my intention was to fight fire with fire.

Unfortunately my frugal nature would not allow me to commit to heavily to this plan, so on the first round, I bought an extra head of broccoli, and a twenty pound bag of couscous which I had never tasted before.  I will also allow that even at the time my decision seemed ridiculous, but passive aggression can make a person do some strange things.

That night, I made couscous for the first time - it was gross, and the flood gates of emotion opened.

"I bought twenty pounds of couscous because I don't like macaroni and cheese or brownies," I blubbered. "And I don't know any recipes for sweetened condensed milk, and cereal is not a healthy breakfast choice, and I am so sorry that I bought couscous to make you feel bad, and now I hate couscous."

Needless to say, the Mad Scientist stared in bewilderment as I cried about about the fact that I didn't like couscous, and he couldn't quite make the connection to why couscous might make him feel guilty, but he forgave me.  We talked through my feelings, and over the next few weeks, we ate through a lot of the stockpile; we ate through all but the couscous.

That bag of couscous has remained in our marriage for over two years, and has largely been untouched until now!

After running out of basmati rice, I committed to using up the couscous before buying more rice, and so I bring to you Chicken Fried Couscous.  Not only does this recipe use up an ingredient that I am not overly fond of, but it also utilizes leftovers.  A double frugal win!  Best of all, it tastes great!  Its reminiscent of fried rice, but the unique pearly texture of couscous yields a slightly different flavor profile.  Even Littlest enjoyed it!

Chicken Fried Couscous

Using up leftovers and couscous in one recipe, and it tastes amazing! You can substitute for almost any veggies or protein you would like.

Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 2 Servings

  • 1 Cup Couscous
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 3 Tablespoons Sesame Oil
  • 2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 Large White Onion- Chopped
  • Garlic Cloves- Minced
  • Carrots- peeled and diced
  • 3/4 Cup Broccoli- chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Mushrooms- Sliced
  • 1/3 Cup Frozen Corn
  • 1 Cup Cooked Chicken- diced
  • Egg
  • 1 Tablespoon Sesame Seeds
1. Cook the couscous in the chicken broth until all the broth is absorbed (this takes less than five minutes)
2. In a large frying pan or wok, heat the oil to a high temperature then add onion, garlic, carrots, sesame seeds and broccoli, stir frequently for 3-4 minutes
3. Add mushrooms, soy sauce (any additional seasonings as well), corn and chicken and cook 2-3 additional minutes
4. Make a large well in your crockpot and crack egg into it. Scramble the egg, and slowly incorporate into the couscous mixture.
5. Serve with your fried rice favorites (Soy Sauce, Sriracha, cilantro, green onion, etc.)


  1. Hahahah :-) love the story! Too funny! AND LOVE LOVE LOVE reading your blog! :-)

    1. So glad that you love it, thanks for reading! I have some vegetarian recipes coming up that I bet you will enjoy :)