Chicken with Couscous and Spinach

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A nearly complete meal with protein (chicken), carbs (Israeli couscous), and veggies. Easy to make and even better the next day served cold.

Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: 2

Preparation time:
Cooking time:

Dietary guidance: n 

Tags: salad · spinach · main · chicken ·


1/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
2 (6 - 8 ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup Israeli couscous
1 shallot, minced (about 3 tablespoons)
3 cloves garlic, minced (about 3 teaspoons)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus 2 tablespoons fresh juice from 1 lemon
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1-3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
6 ounces baby spinach (about 6 cups)
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/2 cup)


Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the over to 200 degrees. Place the flour in a shallow dish. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Working with one breast at a time, dredge the chicken in the flour, shaking off the excess.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Carefully lay the chicken breasts in the skillet and cook until well browned on the first side, 6 to 8 minutes. Flip the chicken breasts, reduce the heat to medium, and continue to cook until the thickest part of the breast registers 160 to 165 degrees on an instant-read thermometer. Transfer chicken to a plate, tent loosely with foil, and let rest in the warm oven while preparing the couscous.

Wipe out the skillet with a wad of paper towels. Add 1 tablespoon more oil and the couscous to the skillet and roast over medium heat until light golden, about 2 minutes. Stir in the shallot, 2 teaspoons of the lemon zest, and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the broth and bring to a simmer, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring often, until the liquid is absorbed and the couscous is al dente, 8 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, remaining 1 teaspoon garlic, remaining 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon pepper flakes together in a small bowl.

Stir the spinach, one handful at a time, into the skillet and cook until wilted, about 5 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the feta and remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the couscous between two plates and top with the chicken. Drizzle with the lemon juice mixture and serve.

Note: Israeli couscous is larger than regular couscous and therefore must be simmered. You can also substitute orzo instead.


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