I love a simple chicken breast with a tasty and healthy side accompaniment. Couscous fits that bill nicely. If you prefer salty and savory tastes over sweet, this version of couscous may not be for you. Anyone and everyone would love the chicken, which came out deliciously with a light breading and just a hint of salt and pepper to keep it interesting and flavorful. Baking it on a low temperature kept it moist and it’s finished off with an orange oil. This dish is quick and easy and is made quickly, in just 30 minutes.
Chicken and Couscous with Fennel & Orange
Adapted from ATK The Best 30-Minute Recipe
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and pepper
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/3 cup olive oil
1 red onion, sliced thin
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, cored and sliced thin
1 cup regular, fine-grained couscous (not large/Israeli-style)
4 garlic cloves
1 cup orange juice
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro or Italian parsley
Adjust rack to lower-middle position, place baking dish on rack, and heat oven to 200 degrees.
Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Dredge chicken in flour to coat and shake off excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown chicken lightly on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer chicken to dish in oven and cook until chicken registers 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 10 – 15 minutes.
While chicken bakes, add 1 more tablespoon oil to skillet and return to medium-high heat until shimmering. Add onion, fennel, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook until onion if softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in couscous, garlic, and pinch cayenne, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in 3/4 cup of orange juice and broth, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to simmer, cover and let sit off heat until liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.
Make drizzling oil: Whisk together remaining oil, remaining 1/4 cup orange juice, 2 tablespoons of cilantro or parsley, and pinch of cayenne. Set aside.
Gently fold remaining cilantro into couscous with fork and season with salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle oil over chicken and couscous when serving.