Spiced baked chicken with couscous recipe

(229 ratings)

Spiced baked chicken with couscous
Preparation Time10 mins (plus 20 mins marinating)
Cooking Time45 mins
Total Time55 mins (plus 20 mins marinating)
Five A DayOne
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories530 Kcal27%
Sugar4.1 g5%
Fat19.9 g28%
Saturated Fat4.5 g23%
Salt0.82 gRow 4 - Cell 2
Protein42.1 g84%
Carbohydrates45 g17%
Salt0.82 gRow 7 - Cell 2

Hot chicken in a spicy sauce with light, golden couscous and peas. Spiced baked chicken with couscous is such a delightfully warming evening meal.

The meaty, spicy sauce soaks into the steaming couscous and makes it so tasty. You might be tempted to use chicken breast instead of thighs for this dish, but this will taste better if you stick to thighs. As well as being a much cheaper cut of meat, thighs are more tender and tastier than breast meat. They also bake better, ending up so succulent you won't even need a knife to cut them. They do have more fat on than breasts, but you can cut all of it away with a sharp knife before you start cooking (the cat is always very grateful for the scraps). At under 500 calories per portion, this is one of our most popular low calorie meals.


  • 8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, secured together with cocktail sticks
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2tbsp medium curry powder
  • 1tbsp paprika
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 onion, peeled and sliced into rings
  • 4tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 1tbsp malt vinegar
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 350g (12oz) couscous
  • 450ml (¾ pint) hot chicken stock
  • 300g (10oz) frozen peas
  • 200g (7oz) baby spinach leaves

You will need:

  • 4 litre (6½ pint) casserole dish




  1. Put the chicken into the casserole dish. Season and add the curry powder, paprika, garlic, onion, coriander, vinegar and oil, and mix well. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 20 mins, or a few hours, if you have time.
  2. Set the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas 6. Pour over 300ml (½ pint) water. Cover and bake the chicken for 45 mins.
  3. Meanwhile, put the couscous into an ovenproof serving dish and pour over the stock. Add some salt, then stir and leave for 5 mins until the stock is absorbed.
  4. Add the frozen peas and spinach leaves. Cover with foil and bake for 10 mins while the chicken is cooking. Serve the chicken on top of the couscous and pour over the juices.

Top tips for making spiced baked chicken with couscous:

Leaving the chicken to marinate for longer will improve the flavour more and more. If you have time, it's worth doing step one before work in the morning, then it will be fragrant and ready to use when you are ready to cook in the evening.

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Octavia Lillywhite
Food and Lifestyle Writer

Octavia Lillywhite is an award-winning food and lifestyle journalist with over 15 years of experience. With a passion for creating beautiful, tasty family meals that don’t use hundreds of ingredients or anything you have to source from obscure websites, she’s a champion of local and seasonal foods, using up leftovers and composting, which, she maintains, is probably the most important thing we all can do to protect the environment.