The Last Chicken Recipe You’ll Ever Need: Easy Weeknight Chicken

Friends don’t let friends eat boring weeknight chicken. Say no to flavorless grilled chicken breast and try this easy, flavorful baked chicken recipe with Moroccan-style couscous instead.

Upgrade your standard weeknight meal with an easy roast chicken recipe the whole family will love!

Easy Baked Chicken Recipe

 

Choosing the right cut of meat:

For a creative spin on America’s favorite bird, bypass boneless skinless chicken breasts for once and consider bone in chicken legs your new supper staple. Budget-friendly and flavorful, pop a few legs in the oven with your favorite seasoning and prep the rest of dinner distraction free as the legs cook quickly.

Seasonal sides:

As fall approaches, I like to pair my chicken with a grain or pasta salad with rich, piquant flavors and warming spices to celebrate the season. I reach for couscous when I’m in a hurry, as the stuff cooks in the blink of an eye. If you cooked off whole grains over the weekend, feel free to substitute those.

Mixing it up: recipe alternatives

I provide a recipe below, but you can use it as a general template and add what you have on hand. With just a handful of herbs (think dill, parsley), a bit of acid (olives, lemon), and a hint of something sweet (think raisins, apples, shallots), and a drizzle of olive oil…. you’ve got yourself a sophisticated dish that takes a few extra minutes than basic chicken breast on the grill will run you.

Freshly chopped herbs Bluprint August-7

Easy baked chicken recipe

Ingredients

For the chicken:

  • 4 skin-on chicken thighs
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • Salt/pepper to taste
  • Peel of one lemon

For the couscous:

  • 2 cups dried pearl couscous
  • 4 cups white/chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup dill, minced
  • 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved
  • 1/4 cup flame raisins
  • 3 tbsp shallots, finely chopped
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 3 tbsp olive oil

Directions

For the chicken:
1. Pre-heat oven for 400F. Place chicken legs skin side up in a baking dish. Carefully slide your fingertips between the meat and skin of each chicken piece to loosen the skin from the meat. Spread salt and pepper and 1 pat of butter between the two layers. Tuck lemon peels between the legs that touch.

2. Drizzle with olive oil and a bit more salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 F.

For the couscous:
3. While the chicken cooks, boil water or stock for couscous. When liquid is at a rolling boil, remove from heat, stir in couscous.

4. Cover for 10 minutes until the liquid is fully absorbed. In a prep bowl, combine herbs, shallot, olives, raisins, lemon juice, and set aside.

5. Combine cooked couscous and the herb mixture. Serve as a bed for the cooked chicken. Serve warm.

Baked Chicken with tasty Moroccan-style couscous

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