Italian Chicken Couscous Skillet

If I had my way, everything that came out of my kitchen would be some sort of pastry, cake, or cookie.  If I had my way, every meal would be dessert and involve some kind of chocolate or berry.  But occasionally (read:every few hours) the other people who live at my house demand "real" food of me.  And if I'm being honest, I'm probably the neediest right after the three year old.  He definitely inherited hangry from me.

And while I do enjoy cooking, I don't have hours to devote to dinner every day once the small humans are kept alive, laundry is done, and the house doesn't look like a Kansas tornado has torn through it.  But if we're being real, the last two have been optional before. 

CousCousChicken-5.jpg

Enter meals like this one-- simple yet tasty, warm and filling but not heavy, and, if we're lucky that day, toddler approved.  I love chicken thighs because it's virtually impossible to make them dry and flavorless even with just a little salt, pepper, and garlic.  Not to mention, it's pretty much a two dish meal which makes for simple cleanup, the other hallmark of family-friendly weeknight cooking.

In essence, what I'm trying to say is that this is the epitome of "winner, winner, chicken dinner."  So do everyone a big favor and make it.

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Italian Chicken Couscous Skillet
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked couscous
  • 2 Tbsp. salted butter
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1.5 lbs. tomatoes, chopped (I like campari best)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil, or 2 tsp. dried
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup, plus a few extra leaves for garnish fresh parsley, chopped
Instructions
Preheat the oven to 400°. Trim any excess fat off of the chicken thighs and salt and pepper both sides. In a large, oven proof skillet, melt the butter over high heat until hot but not burning. Place the chicken thighs in the skillet quickly. Turn after 2-3 minutes, or until the outside is beginning to brown. Flip and cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes, then remove to a plate. While the pan is still hot, slowly pour the white wine in, scraping the bottom with a wooden or metal spoon to help remove all of the little cooked bits stuck to the bottom (this is called deglazing the pan, and adds so much flavor!). After the pan has been deglazed, add in the couscous, chicken broth, tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice, and herbs. Mix it all together, then arrange the chicken thighs over the top. Place the lid on top and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken pieces read 155° on an internal thermometer (FDA recommends you cook chicken to 165°. However, since the chicken cooled a bit on the plate, the thermometer will read lower when it's done). If you do not have a thermometer, pierce the chicken with a fork and the juices should run clear. The couscous should also be fluffy and soft. Sprinkle with the extra parsley, if desired, and serve immediately.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6-8 servings