May 14, 2015

Spiced Chicken Thighs with Lemon-Parsley Couscous

Spiced chicken thighs with lemon-parsley couscous
Spiced Chicken Thighs with Lemon-Parsley Couscous
There is a misconception about chicken meat. Okay there are MANY misconceptions and a general lack of forthcomingness (not a word) about chicken meat but that's another post for another blog...
For some reason, America has decided that the chicken breast is the most delicious part of the bird but that's just plain incorrect. Chicken thighs are where it's at. They're flavorful. They're inexpensive. They're easy to cook. They don't dry out (or so I think). Poor little chicken thighs, they get such a bad rap.

I'm going to say I probably have this meal once a week - it's that good! I used pictures from several different occasions for this post to showcase just how often I make it - or rather, how often my boyfriend makes it because he's the chicken thigh master. Spices are combined to make an insanely delicious sweet and spicy coating for the chicken thighs that end up producing a crispy, crunchy crust that is full of flavor. You start the thighs by searing them in a hot skillet so the skin stays crispy then finishing it in the oven so the thighs cook through and stay nice and juicy. I'm drooling while thinking about it. 

This recipe also taught me my new favorite way to make couscous (the food so nice, they named it twice)! It says to toast it in a pan first with some garlic, so it gets a nice nutty flavor and brown color. Then you add in the liquid to finish cooking it and the parsley and whatnot - SO TASTY. 
Spiced chicken thighs with lemon-parsley couscous
Spiced Chicken Thighs with Lemon-Parsley Couscous
Recipe modified slightly from Cooking Light
Serves: 4 | Serving Size: 2 chicken thighs, 1/2 cup couscous | PointsPlus: 12
Ingredients
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs, about 2 pounds
  • 1 1/2 tbsp canola oil, divided
  • 2/3 cup uncooked couscous
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 3/4 cup lower sodium chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • juice from one lemon
Directions
  • Preheat the oven to 425f
  • Combine cumin, brown sugar, chili powder, ginger, 1/2 teaspoon salt, cayenne, lemon rind, and black pepper in a small bowl. Rub spice mixture all over both sides of the chicken thighs
  • Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon canola oil to pan and swirl to coat. Add chicken to pan, placing skin side down, and cook 5 minutes on each side until the thighs are browned. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake at 425f for 14 minutes or until done. Remove from the skillet and set aside while you cook the couscous.
  • Using the same cast iron skillet with the juices from the chicken still in the pan, heat over medium-high heat. Add couscous and garlic to skillet and cook 2 minutes until toasted and fragrant, stirring frequently. Stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and the chicken stock. Bring the liquid to a boil, remove from heat, cover, and let stand 4 minutes. Fluff the couscous with a fork, stir in the parsley and the lemon juice
  • Divide the couscous among 4 plates and top with 2 chicken thighs each. Top with extra parsley and salt flakes such as Maldon!
Spiced chicken thighs with lemon-parsley couscous
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