Photo: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Claire Spollen
This dish is easily customizable. Cauliflower can replace the fennel, or the couscous can be switched for a whole grain like farro or brown rice. There are plenty of vegetables in this complete dinner, but if you desire, fresh, lightly dressed greens would go well with this dish.
Serves 4 (serving size: about 1/2 cup couscous, 2 chicken thighs, and about 1/2 cup sauce)
1. Trim tough outer leaves from fennel; mince feathery fronds to measure 2 tablespoons. Remove and discard stalks. Cut fennel bulb in half lengthwise; discard core. Vertically slice fennel bulb.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and black pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until well browned. Transfer chicken to a plate.
3. Add sliced fennel, onion, and carrot to pan; cook 3 minutes. Add cinnamon and red pepper, if desired; cook 1 minute. Add orange juice, olives, and tomatoes. Increase heat to high, and bring to a boil. Add chicken and accumulated juices to pan. Reduce heat to medium, and cook 20 minutes or until chicken is done.
4. Bring 1 1/4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Stir in couscous; cover. Remove from heat; let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
5. Serve chicken and vegetables over couscous. Top with fennel fronds.