This recipe from Real Simple is a tasty one-pot meal featuring chicken thighs, Israeli couscous (a small, pea-shaped pasta), shallots, olives, dates and spices. Brown the chicken and set aside. Combine couscous, shallots, olives, dates, spices and water in the same pan, bring to a simmer and add the chicken back to the pan. Bake until the chicken is done and the couscous is tender. Run under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the chicken and garnish with pomegranate seeds and cilantro. Cook’s note: I used chopped red pepper instead of pomegranate seeds and made the recipe with eight chicken thighs instead of six.

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used President’s Choice garlic-stuffed green olives, which are additive-free. Parnoosh brand dried dates are additive-free. Check the dried spices to make sure they don’t contain colour or anti-caking agents.

Brown chicken and set aside

Add couscous, shallots, olives, dates, spices and water to skillet and bring to a simmer

Return chicken to pan and roast until couscous is tender and chicken is done

Chicken thighs with couscous and olives


6 6-oz. (170 g) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

1 ½ teaspoons (7.5 ml) kosher salt, divided

1 cup (250 ml) uncooked Israeli couscous

½ cup (125 ml) chopped shallots (from 1 shallot)

½ cup (125 ml) Castelvetrano olives, coarsely chopped

¼ cup (60 ml) chopped dried dates

1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cumin

¼ teaspoon (1.25 ml) ground cinnamon

½ cup (125 ml) finely chopped fresh cilantro

¼ cup (60 ml) pomegranate seeds


Preheat oven to 425°F (218°C) with rack 8 inches (20 cm) from heat. Sprinkle skin of chicken thighs with ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) salt. Place chicken, skin side down, in a large, broiler-safe skillet. Cook over medium, undisturbed, until chicken skin is crisp and light golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer chicken, skin side up, to a plate. Discard drippings in skillet.

Add couscous, shallots, olives, dates, cumin, cinnamon, and remaining 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt to skillet. Stir in 1⅓ cups (332 ml) water and bring to a simmer over medium-high. Nestle chicken, skin side up, in couscous mixture. Cover skillet with aluminum foil and transfer to oven. Bake until chicken is cooked through, a thermometer inserted in thickest portion of thighs registers at least 165°F (74°C), and couscous is tender, 15 to 20 minutes.

Increase oven temperature to broil. Uncover skillet; broil until chicken skin is crisp, about 5 minutes. Top with cilantro and pomegranate seeds. Serves 4.

From Real Simple