With or without the chicken, it's a flavorful and nutritious meal, yet it still comes together quickly. And it's just a beginning. The basic recipe is easily modified. Here are some ideas:
Ring the changes. Turkey, ham, beef, sausage, potted meat, tuna, or salmon, in any form: canned, shelf‑stable pack, dried, or freeze‑dried. All of these can be substituted for chicken. But remember to add dried or freeze‑dried meat to the water or broth before the pot goes on the flame. Could you also use fresh meat? Sure. The meal would no longer be quick and easy, however, since you'd have to cook the meat first.
Add vegetables. Carrots, onions, peas, or corn… It's your call. If you're using fresh carrots, shred or slice them very thin so they'll cook quickly, and add them to the pot before it goes on the flame. Ditto for freeze‑dried veggies. And what about those onions? Just dice them and use them in place of the green onions in my original recipe. You can also add garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas), but be sure to use canned chickpeas rather than dried — dried chickpeas take a long time to cook. If you love mushrooms, they, too, make a great addition.
More cheese, please! You'll find a whole world of cheeses to explore. I've been meaning to try smoked Gouda, and now that I've committed my intention to virtual print, it's likely I'll follow through. There's one cheesy caveat, though: Don't add any cheese until the dish is cooked and the eggs and couscous have been mixed together. Then grate or shave the cheese and stir it in.
Fruit, anyone? Good candidates include dried apricots, cherries, cranberries (craisins), and apples. Cut them up and toss them into the final dish — or add them to the water before boiling if you like your fruit soft. And what about fresh fruit? Well, why not?
Feeling seedy? Go nuts! Nuts and seeds add flavor and much‑needed fiber to any camp meal. They're also nutrient‑dense. I ring the changes with pistachios, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, pepitas (pumpkin seeds), and hazelnuts. You can, too.
Season to taste. Dried herbs and spices will enhance almost any dish. My favorites include chives, rosemary, and thyme (but not parsley and sage). Curry powder is another addition worth considering — mild or hot, as you prefer. Sprinkle it over the onions and garlic before you pour the whisked eggs into the skillet.
Any way you look at it, this is a versatile dish, and no matter how long the trail ahead, egg and couscous sauté will help you go the distance. Ladle it into a bowl or onto a plate. You can even scoop it straight out of the pot if you want, or spoon it into pita bread. Or roll it up in a tortilla. And if you find yourself with time on your hands and an urge to linger by the fire, serve it with burgers or satays or pan‑fried trout.
Of course, fresh eggs won't keep fresh forever, though they're better travelers than many folks realize. Could you use freeze‑dried or powdered eggs, instead? I can't see why not. I haven't done so myself, however. Not yet. So if you do, please let me know how it went.