Skillet Chicken with Couscous

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This Skillet Chicken with Couscous is an easy dinner recipe for any night of the week. It's full of great flavor, very filling, and all made in one skillet!

  • Author: Yumna Jawad
  • Posted:

Skillet Chicken with Couscous Recipe

I love when a meal comes together in one skillet! I’m all about that lately and that’s why I was so happy when my sister bought me a cast-iron skillet. It’s the convenience of sauteing something on the stovetop, then finishing it off in the oven. It’s such a fun way to cook, and I especially love it for chicken because it results in crispy edges and tender meat. To make it a complete meal, I’m sharing my (your new) favorite skillet chicken with couscous today!

Those of you who’ve tried and loved the Mediterranean couscous with shrimp recipe will definitely want to try out this skillet chicken recipe. It also has very basic ingredients and instructions with flavors that everyone will enjoy!

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Skillet chicken with couscous in a large back cast iron skillet

How to cook chicken in a skillet

To start, pat dry some chicken breasts or chicken thighs with a paper towel. Then season generously with paprika, garlic powder, salt and pepper. You’ve probably seen me use this mixture many times before. I love it on chicken, potatoes and roasted veggies. It’s mild but flavorful, which is perfect for a crowd of picky kid eaters. Feel free to throw in your favorite spices instead.

Collage of two images showing chicken thighs being seasoned

Next, heat oil in a heavy bottom skillet – something like a cast iron that has even heat distribution works great for this skillet chicken recipe. When the oil is hot in the pan and glistening, that’s when you add the chicken. You want to cook it for a couple minutes per side so that it gets a nice golden skin and releases naturally from the pan without sticking.

At this point, the chicken is not fully cooked. It’s only seared on the outside. But you want to remove it from the skillet and set it aside. We’ll come back to it in just a couple minutes.

Sauteed chicken thighs on a skillet with lemon slices and rosemary

Because we’re making it a complete meal, we’re using pearl couscous today. It’s basically a small ball-shaped pasta, very similar to orzo. In fact, you can substitute orzo here or even quinoa if you’d like. I love these tri-colored couscous with the dish because they add a comforting soft texture and fun color to the dish. You’ll want to toast the couscous with some olive oil and garlic in the pan to bring out its nutty flavor for just a couple minutes.

Dry couscous ready to be cooked

Next, deglaze the pan with the broth. This is where you’re partly cleaning the pan from all the brown bits, and partly giving the couscous a big flavor boost (again from those brown bits). It’s a win/win step of the recipe if you ask me.

And then you’ll transfer the chicken back to the skillet along with some fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme or sage. If you’d like, you can also add some lemon slices in there. You’ll finish cooking that whole skillet in the oven. And dinner will be served before you know it!

Collage of two images showing couscous in a skillet with water and then with the chicken and lemon slices being added

Tips to make moist chicken in a skillet

  • Uses a heavy bottom skillet for best heat distribution. Sometimes the skillet you use in cooking doesn’t matter much. Here it does. That’s because a skillet with a thick heavy bottom will give you even heat throughout the cooking process, and can handle being finished off in the oven. If you don’t want to finish the cooking in the oven, you can use a stainless steel or nonstick skillet with a lid and continue cooking on the stovetop.
  • Dab the chicken dry before seasoning. This step will help to get that beautiful golden color on the exterior of the chicken without it sticking to the pan. If there is leftover moisture on the chicken, it creates steam, which prevents browning.
  • Check the internal temperature of the chicken for best results. The time estimates I provide in the recipe below are simple estimates based on the size and thickness of the chicken I used. For the best accuracy, I would highly recommend using a quick-read thermometer and cooking the chicken to 165°F. Be sure not to go over that temperature or the chicken will become too dry.
Final outcome of the skillet chicken with couscous shown in the cast iron skillet

What to serve with skillet chicken

The great thing about this recipe is that you’ll make it with couscous so it’s ready to serve with that. If you wanted to, you could substitute the couscous for orzo or quinoa and and it would be a great combination. And you can also leave out the grains all together and just serve it with one of these side dishes:

If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feelgood Skillet Chicken with Couscous recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

For more chicken recipes, check out:

 

4.67 from 3 votes
Final outcome of the skillet chicken with couscous shown in the cast iron skillet
Skillet Chicken with Couscous
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 

This Skillet Chicken with Couscous is an easy dinner recipe for any night of the week. It's full of great flavor, very filling, and all made in one skillet!

Course: Entree
Cuisine: American
Keyword: chicken dinners, healthy dinner, one skillet
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 494 kcal
Ingredients
  • 1 pound chicken thighs about 4 pieces
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 clove garlic minced or grated
  • 1 cup pearled couscous
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • Lemon slices for garnish
  • Rosemary sprigs for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F.

  2. In a small bowl, mix together garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Sprinkle generously over chicken thighs.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Transfer seasoned chicken to the cast iron. Cook until the chicken is golden brown and releases easily from the skillet, about 3-4 minutes per side. Remove chicken from the skillet and set aside.

  4. To the same skillet, add remaining olive oil, garlic and couscous, and cook until the garlic is fragrant and the couscous is toasted, about 2-3 minutes. Add the chicken broth to deglaze the pan, and bring the mixture to a boil.

  5. Add the chicken back to the skillet, and garnish with lemon slices and rosemary, if desired. Place the skillet in the oven. Bake until the chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes.

  6. Serve the chicken with the couscous with fresh herbs and lemon slices, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 3-4 days in the fridge.

Equipment: I love using the Staub cast iron skillet. It has a thick heavy bottom for even heat distribution and transfers seamlessly from stovetop to the oven.

Nutrition: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate only. It will vary based on the specific ingredients used. This recipe is estimated for 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts
Skillet Chicken with Couscous
Amount Per Serving
Calories 494 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 26g 40%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 111mg 37%
Sodium 127mg 5%
Potassium 413mg 12%
Total Carbohydrates 35g 12%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 26g 52%
Vitamin A 4.2%
Vitamin C 0.3%
Calcium 2.4%
Iron 8.5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
This Skillet Chicken with Couscous is an easy dinner recipe for any night of the week. It's full of great flavor, very filling, and all made in one skillet! | Dinner Ideas | One Skillet | Easy Meals | Chicken Recipes #skilletchicken #chickenrecipes #couscous #easydinners #feelgoodfoodie

Comments

  • Reply
    Yaseen
    January 4, 2019 at 7:13 am

    So easy and so yummy. I used chicken breasts instead of thighs. Came out super juicy and tasty. Definitely making this again!

    • Reply
      Yumna Jawad
      January 4, 2019 at 9:19 am

      Yay! So glad to hear that! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    Brian
    January 3, 2019 at 5:52 pm

    Loved making this & it was delicious! I tweaked a bit since my husband & I are more veggie eaters than carbs. I added carrots, broccoli, celery, and only 1 box of Spanish style rice pilaf. No lemon or rosemary either.

    • Reply
      Yumna Jawad
      January 3, 2019 at 10:23 pm

      I love your variations to the recipe. Sounds like a healthy well rounded meal! Thank you so much for sharing!!

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