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French Lemon Chicken with Couscous and Crispy Almond Filo Wrapped Asparagus

This recipe comes from Brasserie JO’s Executive Chef Nicholas Calias who knows a thing or deux about the French way of cooking and eating.


  • 4 Chicken Thighs
  • .5 bottle White Wine
  • .5 each Onion
  • 1 Julienne Red Pepper
  • 1 oz. Turmeric
  • 1 oz. Garlic
  • 3 sprigs Fresh Thyme
  • 1 quart Chicken Stock
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 oz. Saffron
  • 2 oz. Olives
  • 2 oz. Lemon Juice
  • 2 Fresh Lemons
  • 1 oz. Parsley
  • 1 oz. Cumin
  • Flour as needed


  • Season chicken with cumin, turmeric, a little bit of oil, fresh lemons, salt and pepper and let rest for one hour.
  • Dredge in flour and sear
  • Add onions, garlic, saffron, peppers.
  • Deglaze with wine and lemon
  • Add chicken stock and braise.
  • When chicken is tender add olives and parsley.



  • 2 oz. Diced Red Onion
  • 2 oz. Diced Red Pepper
  • 2 oz. Chopped Parsley, Cilantro
  • 4 oz. Couscous
  • Chicken Stock as needed


  • Sauté vegetables, add herbs and set aside.
  • Boil Chicken Stock; pour over couscous and cover.
  • Allow to steam until tender.
  • Fluff couscous, add vegetable mix, oil, salt & pepper, toasted almonds.

Asparagus in Filo

  • Wrap blanched asparagus in strips of filo
  • Coat in butter and top with chopped almonds
  • Bake at 350 degrees until filo is golden.
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French Food Tips from Brasserie JO Executive Chef Nicholas Calias

“Forget about dieting,” advises Brasserie JO’s Executive Chef Nicholas Calias who knows a thing or deux about the French way of cooking and eating. Take a page from the French way of cooking and you can trade diet books for a naturally healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips (with inspiration from The French Women Don’t Get Fat, The Secret of Eating for Pleasure):

1.       Use the best natural, local ingredients:

Allendale Farms, Costa Produce, Domestic Lamb, Grass Fed Beef’

2.       Focus on quality rather than quantity, enjoying one portion of a great dish rather than doubling up on processed foods

Recommended dish: French Lemon Chicken, Couscous, Crispy Almond Wrapped Asparagus (Recipe below)

3.       Eat consciously and slowly, savoring each mouthful

“Turn off the television and phone, and focus on the meal in front of you and your dining partner(s).”

4.       Allow yourself a glass of wine – especially red, which is known for the benefits of the antioxidant reservatrol

Chef’s recommendation: Trimbach Riesling-Alsacian White

5.       Enjoy dessert in small quantity, eating it slowly and enjoying it more

Whole Wheat Crepes, Flambé Strawberries, Yogurt, Toasted Pine Nuts

6.       Eat real cheese and fresh bread, avoiding processed, and it will prevent later snacking (if at a meal) or enjoy it as a healthier alternative to junk food snacks

Cheese Fondue, Crisp,  Fresh, Local Vegetables, Apples, Baguette

7.       Drink plenty of water

“This will aid digestion, speed your metabolism, and promote weight loss,” says Chef Nick.

8.       Forgive your lapses

“Indulge if you must and then return to your healthy way of eating,” Chef Nick allows.

Don’t miss Chef Nick’s recipe for French Lemon Chicken with Couscous and Crispy Almond Filo Wrapped Asparagus!