Moroccan-Spiced Chicken and Couscous with Crispy Chicken Skins
Why This Recipe Works
by Tim Chin
We're big fans of family-style dishes that deliver intense but comforting flavors. And we like taking something like chicken—which gets a bad rap for being bland, easy to overcook, and straight-up boring—and making it special. This chicken dish features a couple of North African influences: We start with a spice blend reminiscent of ras el hanout (literally “head of the shop” in Arabic, ras el hanout is a spice blend that varies by region but traditionally includes a seller’s best spices). We incorporate some of the spice mix into a spicy-savory harissa-style paste (a popular North African hot pepper paste), which we use to build a flavorful base for gently braising chicken thighs until they are tender and moist. To give the dish some textural contrast, we remove and slowly crisp up the skins from the chicken thighs (which would otherwise end up soggy) in the oven and crumble them over the top. With a little couscous cooked in the same pot to soak up the extra cooking liquid, this dish is packed with warming flavor.