Broiled Chicken and Couscous

This dish is very easy to prepare and comes out great. When you are looking to cook something tasty, but don’t want to spend much time, broiled chicken fits the bill. That crisp skin and tender meat tastes as good as it looks.

The key to outstanding chicken is to brine it. What is a brine you ask? Well, funny you should ask, the yesterday’s post this explains that!

Broiled Chicken and Lemon Couscous (with pistachios)

Broiled Chicken and Lemon Couscous (with pistachios)

Couscous—-sooooo easy. If you can measure a cup of water into a skillet and bring it to a boil, you can make couscous. You don’t even need to time it. And if you get something wrong, it’s easy to correct! (I’ll get into correcting it and making it fancy after the jump.)

Lemon Couscous with pistachios

Lemon Couscous with pistachios

And the broiled chicken. Easy, simple, and can be made extremely tasty if you have some seasonings. Don’t forget to brine it though!

Broiled Chicken

Broiled Chicken

Broiled Chicken

I made a kind of rub for this chicken while it was brining. It’s an easy way to boost the flavor of the chicken without much effort. You can use nearly any spices you have on hand. Don’t be afraid to mix things up.

Ingredients

3/4 cup kosher salt (for the brine)
3/4 cup granulated sugar (for the brine)
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves (about 3 pounds)
Ground black pepper

Garlic, Lemon and Rosemary Rub

5 medium cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
Ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Recipe

  1. First, prepare the brine: Add the salt and sugar to a gallon size zip top bag and add about a a quart of water. Mix to dissolve the sugar and salt then add the chicken. Place the bag in the fridge for about an hour (put in a baking dish or something in case the bag leaks, you don’t want a fridge fill of salty, sugary, chickeny water).
  2. While the brine is doing it’s thing, make the rub that will go under the chicken skin: Combine the minced garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, rosemary, olive oil and pepper in a small bowl.
  3. Adjust your oven racks so one is at the top and the other at the bottom of your oven (closest and furthest away from the broiler).
  4. After the chicken has soaked for about an hour, remove the chicken and pat dry with paper towels. Using a spoon, add the rub under the chicken skin. The best way to do this is to go from the top of the chicken breast where the skin is already loose. The rest of the skin should still be somewhat connected to the chicken. This serves two purposes, one it keeps the rub in contact with the meat, and two… if you put it on the skin, all you would be flavoring is the skin, not the meat!. Season both sides of the breast with salt and pepper.
  5. Line the bottom of a broiler pan with foil (easier clean-up) and place the chicken on the slotted broiler pan top. Cut three slashes through the chicken skin to allow the fat to escape during cooking.
  6. Turn the chicken skin-side down and place on the bottom oven rack. Turn on the broiler and cook for about 14 minutes, until it is just starting to brown.
  7. Flip the chicken skin-side up and cook another 10 minutes, until a thermometer reads about 160F in the thickest portion of the breast.
  8. To get the skin really golden and crispy, move the chicken to the top rack and broil a little longer. Keep an eye on it though! When it looks nice, take it out and serve immediately.

Tip: If you are making the couscous too, start that after flipping the chicken skin-side up (step 7).

Broiled chicken with couscous

Broiled chicken with couscous

Couscous

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots , minced
1 clove garlic , minced
1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 cup plain couscous
1/4 cup minced fresh basil or parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Table salt and ground black pepper

Recipe

  1. Place a medium skillet over med heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the shallots and cook until softened stirring occasionally, about 3-4 minutes. Stir in the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds longer.
  2. Add the broth and lemon zest. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir in the couscous, remove the skillet from the heat. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. Fold the basil and lemon juice into the couscous. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (I had some pistachios around, so I tossed those in as well—entirely optional.)

Notes about couscous: If the couscous is too dry, but some water in a glass and microwave it until hot, then stir that into the couscous. If the couscous is too wet, put it in a large skillet over medium heat with no lid and stir occasionally until it drys out. It also tastes good without shallots and lemon juice, so you don’t have to add them. I told you it was easy.

Also, this is pretty complicated as far as couscous goes. Everything except the salt, water and couscous can be omitted and it’ll still be fine.

Plate of broiled chicken and couscous

Plate of broiled chicken and couscous

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