While I love to go all out when hosting dinner parties, I often opt to throw together a casual, one pot meal when close friends come over. This was the case a few weekends ago, when an old friend from high school and I caught up over a meal of chicken, Israeli couscous, and vegetables; the no-fuss dish seemed to set a relaxed tone for the rest of the evening.

Although the recipe was straightforward and basic, I couldn't have been more impressed by the result. The chicken was so tender, it fell apart at the bone, and I loved the fact that the plump couscous was tinged with fragrant lemon peel and saffron. To make this for your friends,


Chicken and Israeli Couscous With Tomato and Lemon

Chicken and Israeli Couscous With Tomato and Lemon


  1. 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  2. 1 cup Israeli couscous
  3. 1 1/2 pounds chicken thighs (4 to 6 thighs)
  4. 1/2 medium onion, thinly sliced
  5. 4 Roma or plum tomatoes (about 1 pound), cut lengthwise into 6 slices
  6. 3 garlic cloves, minced (1 tablespoon)
  7. 4 strips lemon peel (2 inches each)
  8. Pinch of saffron
  9. 1/2 cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  10. 1-1/2 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
  11. 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  12. 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  13. 1 lemon, cut into wedges, for serving


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add couscous, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl, and return skillet to heat.
  2. Cook chicken, smooth side down, until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip, and cook for 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate, reserving drippings in skillet.
  3. Reduce heat to medium, add onion, and cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, garlic, lemon peel, and saffron, and cook, stirring frequently, until tomatoes begin to break down, 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Return chicken to skillet. Add wine, and cook for 4 minutes. Add stock, salt, and couscous, and stir. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring occasionally, until couscous is tender and chicken is cooked through, 12 to 14 minutes. Stir in peas, and cook until heated through, about 1 minute. Serve immediately with lemon.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information Per Serving: 446 calories, 3g saturated fat, 9g unsaturated fat, 86mg cholesterol, 45g carbohydrate, 342mg sodium, 32g protein, 9g fiber

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