When I think of comfort food, I inevitably think of chicken. Hainanese chicken rice, chicken congee, chicken pho, chicken noodle soup, chicken with mashed potatoes…just give me ALL the chicken + carbs and I am one happy comforted ball of joy. I can forever come up with chicken + carb combinations and lately, lemony pepper chicken with cous cous is the one that has been bringing me joy.
Juicy lemon slices turn jammy and extra sweet in the oven, mixing with savory chicken juices to create the most delicious sauce. It’s perfect for spooning over cous cous. Those fluffy little kernels just soak it up turning into tiny little bits of pure flavor. SO GOOD.
What is Cous Cous
If you’re not too familiar with cous cous, you’re in for a treat. Cous cous are tiny steamed balls of crushed semolina. It’s usually served with stew or in salad. They are light and fluffy and are kind of like tiny tiny little roughly-shaped balls of pasta. Most of the cous cous that’s sold in stores in North American is pre-steamed and dried which makes it basically instant. All it takes is a quick five minute steam, making it way faster than rice, pasta, or other grains. Of course, you could make cous cous the traditional way too –which requires hours of steaming, but it’s actually pretty hard to find un-steamed cous cous.
How to Make Lemon Pepper Chicken and Cous Cous
Thankfully this is one of those dishes that does it’s thing in the oven while you can chill out and relax after a long day of work. I used bone in skin on chicken thighs, but if you’re in a hurry, you can use boneless (boneless meat always cooks faster) thighs or you can even go healthy and use chicken breast. All you do is season you chicken all over, then pop it into an oven safe pan with lemon juice mixed with olive oil and oregano. Pop in some whole peeled shallots, then put everything in the oven to cook while you relax. When it’s almost time to eat, make the cous cous. Bring a pot of water up to a boil, then pour in the cous cous, stir, and cover. Fluff it up and mix in some herbs and lemon zest and you’ve got a fluffy cloud of carbs for all those awesome lemony chicken juices.
Do the self-care thing and make some lemon pepper chicken and cous cous. You’ll feel nourished and comforted and so, so cozy.
Happy chicken and cous cous!
Lemon Pepper Chicken with Lemon and Dill Cous Cous
Oven baked lemon pepper chicken thighs served with lemon dill cous cous
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Lemon Pepper Chicken
- 4 bone in skin on chicken thighs
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp oregano
- 2 shallots peeled and halved
Dill Cous Cous
- 1/2 cup cous cous
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp chopped dill
- 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or to taste
- lemon zest
Heat the oven to 450°F. Place the chicken thighs and shallots in an oven proof dish, and season with salt and pepper. Leave the chicken on the counter to temper while you prep the rest of the dish.
Zest the lemon and thinly slice half the lemon. Juice the other half of the lemon in a small bowl. Mix in 1/4 cup olive oil into the lemon juice and stir in the oregano. Season with salt and pepper.
Top the chicken with the lemon slices and pour on the sauce. Roast for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the thighs, or until the meat is cooked through.
While the chicken is cooking, make the cous cous: Bring 1/2 cup salted water to a boil. Add 1/2 cup cous cous, stir and cover. Remove from the heat and let stand for five minutes. Fluff and season with salt and pepper. Toss with the olive oil, dill and lemon zest.
Serve the chicken (spoon the juices up as well) on top of the lemon cous cous, finishing with the lemon zest and extra fresh dill. Enjoy immediately.