Dijon Chicken with Couscous “Tabbouleh” & Asparagus

This is one of my favorite chicken recipes to make. It’s really easy and really flavorful and I always have everything I need in the house already. I’ve made it with a million or so different side dishes, but this couscous “tabbouleh” was one of my better creations. I’ve always been a big tabbouleh fan, but I’m not so familiar with bulgar wheat. Couscous is a great substitute and it really plays well with all of the fresh herbs and citrus. I would have eaten a big bowl of this salad all on its own!

My standard EVOO has been replaced in this recipe by grapeseed oil, which a friend recently recommended to me. The smoke point is much higher, and I found that I was able to get a much better sear and deeper color on the chicken during the browning stage. Since that’s where so much of the flavor and presentation come into play, I was excited to try it out and was very happy with the results. It has a very neutral flavor, so taste-wise I did not notice any difference.

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Dijon Chicken with Couscous “Tabbouleh” & Asparagus

  • 2 lbs dark meat chicken, bone-in and skin on (I used 3 thighs and 3 drumsticks)
  • salt and pepper
  • Grapeseed oil or EVOO
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp red pepper flake
  • 2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced and divided
  • 2 cups chicken stock, divided
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

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Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides and heat the oil in a large skillet. When the oil is smoking hot, place the chicken skin side down and brown for 5 minutes, until the skin looks crispy. Turn the chicken over and brown the other side for roughly 3 minutes and then transfer it to a glass baking dish.

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Arrange the chicken so the skin side is up. In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, red pepper, thyme, oregano and half the garlic. Spread the dijon mixture over the skin side of the chicken until it is evenly covered. Pour one cup of stock in the bottom of the dish and bake the chicken for 20 to 25 minutes.

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While the chicken is baking, heat some more oil in the skillet and bring the remaining cup of stock up to a boil in a small saucepan. In the skillet, saute the shallot and the remaining garlic until the shallot is soft and the garlic is fragrant. Set them aside in a medium serving bowl along with the parsley and cilantro.

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When the stock comes to a boil, add the couscous, stir and cover. Remove the couscous from the heat and set aside for roughly 5 minutes. When the couscous is ready, add it to the shallot and herb mixture and add the lemon zest and juice. Mix until the salad is well combined and the couscous is fluffy, not clumpy.

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Finally, while you’re waiting on the chicken to finish up, saute the the asparagus in the skillet and season with salt and pepper. The chicken should now be cooked and dinner is ready to be served!

 

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