Photo: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Claire Spollen
Hands-on Time
20 Mins
Total Time
30 Mins
Serves 4 (serving size: about 1/2 cup couscous, 2 chicken thighs, and about 1/2 cup sauce)

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.

How to Make It

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 5

Serve chicken and vegetables over couscous. Top with fennel fronds.

Chef's Notes

MyRecipes is working with Let's Move!, the Partnership for a Healthier America, and USDA's MyPlate to give anyone looking for healthier options access to a trove of recipes that will help them create healthy, tasty plates. For more information about creating a healthy plate, visit

Ratings & Reviews

MimiGatt's Review

February 26, 2015
Very good meal for a healthy new year! Only changes I made...thought I was cooking couscous but it was quinoa (note - wear glasses more often) and I added a few more olives and once I tasted it (and I don't like cinnamon) I added more cinnamon! Yum yum yum

April 18, 2015
Thanks for the idea on the cinnamon.  I made the recipe without cinnamon.  Will try it next time.

Nom Nom Nom Nomity Nom Nom

August 22, 2017
I found this recipe by chance and gave it a try. I followed the recipe almost exactly (I used spanish olives instead of kalamata olives, and I added some chicken bouillon powder to the water for the couscous) and it turned out delicious. While it was simmering I was anxious that I'd need to add something at the end or that it would somehow be bland but it wasn't. It was a perfect blend of sweet, savory, and just a tiny bit spicy. I recommend going out and getting some fennel for this.  I'd never cooked fennel before but it was extra tasty in this sauce. My husband finished his and started picking at my plate and then gave me a high five, so this is a winner winner chicken dinner (heh).

ChristieB54's Review

January 11, 2015

shawnavdk's Review

January 03, 2015
The blend of flavors was complex and delicious. Even my husband, who is not a big fan of fennel, loved this dish. The chicken took a little longer to cook (~30 min) than stated. I also didn't have couscous on hand so I used brown rice instead which was still fantastic. I will definitely be making this recipe again!

mikeskat's Review

January 14, 2015

leighannbuziak's Review

February 20, 2015

bkmilligan's Review

January 27, 2015
This was a delicious recipe and it is a keeper! Despite my initial skepticism about some of the ingredients all the flavors worked together extremely well. And, my husband had 2 servings!

Shushka's Review

February 09, 2015
I used cauliflower instead of fennel, as the recipe's introduction says is possible. Do not do this!! The cauliflower doesn't add any flavor to the dish and I think it makes it hard to get the chicken to sit right in the pan and simmer IN the sauce. My chicken ended up sitting on top of the cauliflower, in no liquid, for most of the recipe. Therefore, it ended up flavorless. Next time, I'll try the fennel.

3 1/2 stars

December 28, 2015
I liked this but my family was just so/so on it.  I cooked the chicken about 5 minutes each side then 20 and I think it still could've gone another 5.  I simmered with the lid on too.  I used plain couscous as I could not find the whole wheat kind.  Near East makes a roasted garlic couscous that would be great in this dish.  I'd make this again but probably not often.