Servings: Serves 4
Ingredients 8 chicken thighs2 teaspoons ground cuminSalt and freshly ground pepper2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil2 cups chicken stock1/4 cup chopped mint , plus whole leaves3 tablespoons kalamata olives , sliced or chopped1 1/3 cups couscous1/2 teaspoon salt
Rub the chicken thighs with cumin and a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper. In a large high-sided skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over a medium-high flame. Add the chicken thighs and brown the skin, 7 to 10 minutes per side. Add the 2 cups of chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce the heat to medium low; allow the stock to simmer 20 minutes. Add the chopped mint and the sliced or chopped olives. Continue cooking 15 to 20 minutes or until the chicken is tender. Remove the lid, increase the heat to high, and reduce the sauce 3 to 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. Add additional salt, if desired.
In a medium saucepan, heat the 2 cups of chicken stock until just boiling. Add the couscous and salt; cover. Remove from the heat and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Serve the couscous on a platter with the chicken on top. Spoon the sauce over it and garnish with the whole mint leaves.
Recommended variations: For an Italian flavor, substitute 2 teaspoons minced garlic for the cumin in step one. Substitute 2 tablespoons chopped basil for the mint, and add one tablespoon tomato paste to the chicken stock. Serve over linguini and garnish with basil leaves. For an Indian slant, eliminate the olives. In step one, substitute 2 teaspoons curry powder for the cumin, add a cinnamon stick to the chicken stock, and serve with basmati rice. To make Chinese-style chicken, eliminate the olives and mint. In step one, substitute 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger for the cumin, and add 1 teaspoon sesame oil to the olive oil before adding the chicken thighs to the pan. After reducing the sauce 3 to 5 minutes, add 1 tablespoon soy sauce, or more to taste. Serve with rice or Asian noodles such as Udon, rice, or cellophane.