Ivalice Stewed Chicken with Olives

Ivalice“Food would be a start—the good stuff, mind you.”

—Balthier, FFXII

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, peeled, quartered lengthwise and sliced thickly crosswise (about 1½ cups)
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • One 2-ounce can anchovies, drained and chopped
  • 1½ lbs. skinless boneless chicken thighs, uncooked
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ras el hanout
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef broth, divided
  • 8 ounces fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup (180 grams) whole-wheat couscous
  • 1 12-ounce jar pitted Kalamata olives, drained
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a Dutch oven or large, deep oven-safe skillet with lid.  Add onion and garlic and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring frequently and reducing heat as needed to prevent burning. Add anchovies and spices and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Push anchovies and vegetables to the side and add chicken. Sprinkle with flour and season with salt and pepper. Brown on all sides, about 15 minutes.

Slowly pour in the wine, scraping the bottom of the pan. When the wine is at a simmer, slowly pour in ½ cup broth. Add tomatoes and their juices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and cover. Simmer for about 30 minutes, until chicken is very tender.

Uncover and stir in olives. Cook for 15 or so minutes until sauce is slightly thickened.

Meanwhile, place couscous in a large Tupperware container. Heat 1½ cups broth to boiling and pour over the couscous, stirring once to make sure that the liquid is evenly distributed. Cover tightly and set aside for at least 10 minutes.

Fluff couscous with a fork and divide into 4 bowls, about 4 ounces of couscous per person. Divide stew into each bowl, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.

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Ivalice Eggs

Estersand“The region consisting of the three continents of Valendia, Ordalia, and Kerwon, blessed throughout with verdant natural landscapes and climatic conditions supporting a great variety of life. Regional climate trends are thought to be determined largely by the density of Mist present in the air, though this correlation is as yet not well understood. Many humanoids call Ivalice home, each belonging to a distinct cultural sphere. By far, most prevalent of these are the humes, and it is around the civilization that affairs throughout the rest of the world revolve.”

—FFXII, Sage Knowledge piece 29

  • ½ cup (90 grams) whole-wheat couscous
  • 1½ cups chicken or vegetable broth, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, peeled, quartered lengthwise and sliced thickly crosswise (about 1½ cups)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and halved
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 8 ounces fresh tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 eggs
  • Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces crumbled feta cheese (about ¼ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

Place couscous in a large Tupperware container. Heat ¾ cup (6 ounces) of broth to boiling and pour over the couscous, stirring once to make sure that the liquid is evenly distributed. Cover tightly and set aside for at least 10 minutes.

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven. Add onion and peppers and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, paprika, and cumin, and cook until spices are fragrant, about 2 minutes, lowering heat as necessary to avoid burning the vegetables.

Add chopped tomatoes and the remaining ¾ cup broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 15 minutes.

Crack eggs one at a time and place over sauce, spacing evenly apart. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until yolks are just set, about 5 minutes.

Fluff couscous with a fork and divide into two bowls, about 4 ounces of couscous per person. Spoon tomatoes and eggs on top. Sprinkle with feta and parsley and serve.

Oerba Harvest Hodgepodge

Oerba“Miracles are things that we make for ourselves.”

—Oerba Dia Vanille, FFXIII

This is an extremely versatile recipe for using up leftover vegetables from your refrigerator or garden.

  • 1 cup whole-wheat couscous (about 6 oz.)
  • 1½ cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 bunch green onions (about 3 oz.), washed, root ends removed, halved and chopped
  • 8-12 garlic cloves (1 bulb), peeled and halved
  • 1 red bell pepper, washed and ends removed, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, washed and ends removed, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, minced
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped
  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Juice of 1 lime (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce (such as Tabasco)
  • ¾ oz. cilantro, rinsed and chopped (optional)

Place couscous in a large Tupperware container. Heat 1¼ cups broth or water to boiling (reserve the other ¼ cup for later use) and pour over the couscous, stirring once to make sure that the liquid is evenly distributed. Cover tightly and set aside for at least 10 minutes.

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the light-green parts of the onion (save the dark-green ends for later use), garlic, bell pepper, and jalapeno pepper, and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add zucchini, black beans, lime juice, remaining ¼ cup broth or water, and hot pepper sauce. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in cilantro and dark-green onion ends.

Fluff the couscous with a fork. Serve 1 cup of the black bean mixture over ½ cup of cooked couscous. Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 287 calories, 3.3 g. fat, 0.4 g. saturated fat, 0.4 g. poly. fat, 1.7 g. mono. fat, 670.4 mg. sodium, 316.4 mg. potassium, 52.7 g. carbohydrates, 10.3 g. fiber, 14.2 g. protein, vitamin A 9%, vitamin C 98%, calcium 14%, iron 19%

Dalmascan Bean Salad

Basch and Vossler“All I have done — I’ve ever thought of Dalmasca first.”

—Vossler York Azelas, FFXII

Despite the long list of ingredients, this recipe is fast and easy to make. It tastes even better the next day, when the complex flavors have had some time in the refrigerator to blend.

  • 3 medium zucchinis (about 1 lb.), washed and ends removed, cut into spears
  • 1 red pepper, washed and ends removed, cut into quarters
  • 1 green pepper, washed and ends removed, cut into quarters
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups whole-wheat couscous (about 14 oz.)
  • 2½ cups broth or water
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained and rinsed
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch Italian parsley (about ¾ oz.), washed, stems removed, and chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions (about 3 oz.), washed, root ends removed, halved and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger (about 2 square inches)
  • 8-12 garlic cloves (1 bulb), peeled and grated
  • 1 teaspoon dark-roasted sesame oil
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 small or 2 large lemons)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a baking pan, toss the zucchini and peppers with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and roast for 10 minutes. Stir well and continue to cook an additional 10 minutes, until zucchini is turning brown. Turn off the oven, remove baking pan, and set aside to cool.

Place couscous in a large Tupperware container. In a medium saucepan, heat broth or water to boiling and pour over the couscous, stirring once to make sure that the liquid is evenly distributed. Cover tightly and set aside for at least 10 minutes.

Fluff the couscous with a fork to separate the grains. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, chop the zucchini and peppers into small pieces. Add them to the couscous, along with the remaining liquid in the baking pan. Add the beans, parsley, onions, garlic, and ginger. Pour in sesame oil and lemon juice and toss well to combine.

Makes 8 servings (about 2 flat cups per serving).

Per 2-cup serving: 414 calories, 8.6 g. fat, 1.1 g. saturated fat, 1.3 g. poly. fat, 5.1 g. mono. fat, 777 mg. sodium, 378.3 mg. potassium, 69.5 g. carbohydrates, 13.8 g. fiber, 16.3 g. protein, vitamin A 7%, vitamin C 87%, calcium 11%, iron 20%