Chicken & couscous one-pot

Chicken & couscous one-pot

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(282 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 1 hr


Serves 4

This one-pot meal is perfect for fuss-free midweek entertaining

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal561
  • fat23g
  • saturates5g
  • carbs54g
  • sugars5g
  • fibre5g
  • protein32g
  • salt1.09g
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  • 8 skin on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • 2 tsp turmeric



    Turmeric is a fragrant, bright golden-yellow root that is most commonly seen and used dried and…

  • 1 tbsp garam masala
    Garam masala

    Garam masala

    gar-am mah-sarl-ah

    Meaning 'warming spice mix', garam masala is the main spice blend used in North Indian…

  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

  • 2 onions, finely sliced



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 500ml chicken stock (from a cube is fine)
  • large handful whole green olives
    Bowl of olives



    Widely grown all over the Mediterranean, where they've been cultivated since biblical times…

  • zest and juice 1 lemon



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 250g couscous



    Consisting of many tiny granules made from steamed and dried durum wheat, couscous has become a…

  • small bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…


  1. Toss the chicken thighs in half the spices and a pinch of salt until completely coated. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large sauté pan with a lid. Fry chicken, skin-side down, for 10 mins until golden brown, turn over, then cook for 2 mins before removing from the pan. Pour the rest of the oil into the pan, then fry the onions and garlic for 8 mins until golden. Stir in the rest of the spices, then cook for 1 min longer. Pour over the chicken stock and scatter in the olives. Bring everything to the boil, turn down the heat, then sit the chicken, skinside up, in the stock.

  2. Cover the pan with a lid, then simmer gently for 35-40 mins until the chicken is tender. Put the kettle on, then lift the chicken onto a plate and keep warm. Take the pan off the heat. Stir the lemon juice and couscous into the saucy onions in the pan and top up with enough boiling water just to cover the couscous if you need to. Place the lid back on the pan, then leave to stand for 5 mins until the couscous is cooked through. Fluff through half the parsley and the lemon zest, then sit the chicken on top. Scatter with the rest of the parsley and zest before serving.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Vera Ermilina's picture
Vera Ermilina
7th Jun, 2020
Really nice recipe, even if you are (like myself) not a very experienced cook. A few notes: I agree with the recommendation to make chicken's skin crispy again after simmering it. I grilled mine for about 5 mins - that did the job; There is no salt mentioned anywhere in the recipe, but I put it in anyway (mixed with the other spices before covering the chicken and added a bit to the onions) since I am firmly convinced that nothing brings out other flavours like salt does; For some reason, everything took me less time than stated in the recipe: onions turned golden after about 5 min (not 8), simmering the chicken for half an hour was plenty enough, etc; I didn't have olives, but had prunes, and they worked very nicely, too - looove dried fruit in my couscous; I only made 4 thighs, but used about the same amount of spices as listed above, otherwise it's really not enough to fully cover the chicken and add some to the onions afterwards.
16th Mar, 2020
One of the best recipes on this site. I have made it numerous times and the family loves it. Do yourself a favour and try it yourself!
27th Nov, 2019
I personally found the concept of frying the chicken skin to get crispy and then sticking it with the stock a little strange. You got tender chicken obviously but the skin went all slimy. Skinless thighs might be the way to go in the future. I'd also chuck a few more veggies in this if I mad again.
Kennedy13's picture
19th Aug, 2019
A fantastic recipe. Followed it to the letter and got wonderful results, even the fussy teenagers gave this the thumbs up! Lovely tender chicken with delicately spiced cous cous. You could add more spice but I think it will overpower the cous cous. The tip to add olives with stones was spot on, they absorbed the flavours and were even more delicious. I feel this is going to be a family favourite.
16th Mar, 2019
Just made this. Absolutely loved it. I used quite a lot more spices though as I found that recipe amount didn't coat the chicken enough! I just kept adding more until it covered all 8 thighs. Will be making this again!
Chris Zoom's picture
Chris Zoom
21st Feb, 2019
I just follow the recipe. We just loved it!!
Joanna Sas
12th Feb, 2019
I'm vegetarian so I only use the cous cous part of the recipe and love it. Add chickpeas and lots of frozen veg (peppers, peas, corn, green beans, carrots) which is great when you want something quick full of nutrients. I serve with fried cubed halloumi, rocket and greek yoghurt with crack black pepper.
dhoohar's picture
12th May, 2020
5 stars, but didnt you cook this recipe
29th Jul, 2018
We all love this recipe and our 2 year old cannot get enough of it. Large cous cous is just as good and offers something different. Needs a little longer and a touch more water
22nd Feb, 2018
I agree that the couscous portion of the meal is the standout, for once - my partner hates couscous but he liked it prepared like this. Next time I think I'll grill the chicken during the last step, to make the skin nice and crispy. Or use chicken breasts or lamb. I didn't find the dish too lemony - not lemony enough, actually. It would have been bland without the olives.


2nd Mar, 2019
Would this recipe work in a slow cooker with skinless chicken breasts?
goodfoodteam's picture
7th Mar, 2019
Thanks for your question. Yes, you can do this in the slow cooker. We'd suggest sticking with thighs so the meat doesn't become tough and cooking on Low from step 2 for 4 hours.
14th Nov, 2016
Is the nutrition per serving definitely correct for this recipe? 900 calories with 56g of fat doesn't quite seem right for what it is!
goodfoodteam's picture
28th Jan, 2019
Thanks for your question. We apologize for for the discrepancy. Our nutritionist has re-calculated this recipe and the figures did need amending - this will most likely have been as a result of a recipe change as well as new guidelines. The figures are now correct.
Yamini Unni's picture
Yamini Unni
24th Jan, 2019
I worked it out at 480 ish. That includes using chicken thigh with skin on. I haven't worked out the fat though. I see someone else has worked it out at around 500 kcals too.
13th Sep, 2015
Is it possible to freeze this once it's cooked?
Shaun Edmonds's picture
Shaun Edmonds
5th Mar, 2016
I freeze left over couscous, as long as there are no "wet" ingredients like chopped tomatoes in it then its fine, however I would freeze and reheat the chicken separately as couscous only takes a couple of minutes in the microwave, the chicken a bit longer.
Tartan Girl
15th Sep, 2014
Where do all those calories come from? 900! Is it the olives?
9th Mar, 2015
I was wondering this. I make it just over 500. Olives don't amount to much.
4th May, 2016
Perhaps from the skin on the chicken..?


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