What to CookChicken

A Middle Eastern Weeknight One-Pot Chicken

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There are 3 million chicken recipes on the internet. We're here to show you the good ones. Win, win.

Today: A one-pot meal, courtesy of your pantry (and freezer).

Chicken with Caramelized Sumac Onions

We've all been there: After a long day, you pull open the refrigerator door to realize that the most nutrient-rich thing you have is a lone box of baking soda, dutifully soaking up the odors of nonexistent food. You pick up the phone to order takeout, then stop short when you remember the chicken stockpiled in the freezer. Sweet, sweet flavor-absorbent, quick-to-cook chicken. You grab a motley bag of breasts and thighs and set it in a bowl of warm water to defrost while you rummage through your pantry for accoutrements.

It's in such moments that this recipe for Chicken with Caramelized Sumac Onions, Preserved Lemon, and Israeli Couscous shines. Provided that you have chicken in your freezer—or your fridge, for that matter—you should already have the makings of this dish, as the rest of the ingredients can be found in a well-stocked pantry or countertop fruit bowl. Once you've raided your pantry, the entire process takes forty minutes and one pot. To make it, braise the chicken, then cook it along with couscous in a spiced broth flavored with caramelized onion, garlic, and preserved lemon. The end result is a rich, surprisingly bright dish worthy of your weeknight back-pocket repertoire.

Chicken with Caramelized Sumac Onions, Preserved Lemon, and Israeli Couscous

Serves 4 to 6

2 1/2 to 3 pounds chicken (a combination of skin-on, bone-in breasts and boneless, skinless thighs)
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided, plus more to taste
2 teaspoons grapeseed oil (or another high-heat oil)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium to large yellow onions, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, peeled then mashed or pressed
1 1/2 cups chicken broth, plus more as needed
3 teaspoons sumac
1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/4 teaspoons allspice
2 tablespoons chopped preserved lemon
1 cup pearled (Israeli) couscous

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photo by James Ransom

Is there an undiscovered Food52 chicken recipe you love? Send us a paragraph or two at [email protected] about why you love it, and it could be next week's Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner.

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Tags: Couscous, Weeknight Cooking