This has quickly become one of our favorite dinners! Juicy chicken thighs are baked to perfection in a flavorful vegetable “couscous”. It’s a hearty, simple, and healthy one-dish meal.
For some reason, I thought this was the first chicken recipe I had ever posted. I was all excited to be like “introducing DCC’s first chicken recipe!” I just googled “Dani California Cooks” and “chicken” to fact check myself and I realized that I had posted plenty of other chicken recipes throughout my time on this blog! And oh yeah, one was posted last week. And one of my earliest recipes – Chicken Enchiladas with Kale. And this Crockpot Orange Sesame Chicken with Broccoli. How could I forget those?! They seemed like such memorable meals!! I honestly think it’s because chicken is certainly the most benign, the least sexy protein out there. It was almost taboo growing up to order chicken in a restaurant. “Don’t order the chicken!! You can make that at home!!” Since I travel for work, I can only cook so many meals at home and usually chicken isn’t at the top of my list. I get most of my protein from eggs, legumes, beans, nuts, and fish. But I’ve made this dish twice in the last month! With different variations of this vegetable “couscous”. The first time I made it, Nate went “I really liked this. You can make it again. But I’ll likely never see it again, since you are always trying out new recipes for the blog”. So I made it again, you know, just to prove him wrong! It looks like enough food for 4 people, but I’ll be honest with you – we polish off a whole dish of this just the two of us. Usually if I see a recipe that serves “4-6” I know Nate will make up 3 of those four. His appetite and metabolism is a thing of wonder. But since this dish is only veg/chicken, you really can eat a whole lot of it without feeling weighed down. The word “comfort food” conjures up a lot of images in my mind. I polled my colleagues, asking them what was the first thing that they thought of when they heard the word “comfort food”. Responses included fried chicken, mac n’ cheese, and cereal. Why do we associate comfort food with something that’s usually unhealthy? That’ll provide no comfort to your belly if you aren’t feeling well! I usually think of oatmeal, or something hot and soothing. I’ve made this baked chicken recipe twice now, and each time it seemed like the ultimate comfort food. It was flavorful, warm, and easy to make and easy to enjoy. In the oven, the vegetables start to caramelize in their “couscous” form, and the chicken takes on all sorts of delicious flavors. I highly recommend serving with a salad, and there’s dinner!
So, Nate – it’s a good thing you liked this, because you’ll seeing it again!
- ½ head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 2 heads of broccoli, cut into florets
- 2 medium sized carrots
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ cup cilantro leaves
- ½ onion
- Olive oil
- 5 chicken thighs - I used boneless and skinless
- Salt and pepper
- Place the cauliflower, carrots, broccoli, garlic, cilantro, and onion into a food processor. Process until the vegetables are in a rice-like pieces
- Pour the mixture into a 9 x 11 baking dish.
- Toss with a little olive oil and salt and pepper, and form five "wells" for each chicken thigh to go into
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F
- In a medium stove pan, drizzle some olive oil and put on a stovetop over medium heat
- Sprinkle paprika, salt, and pepper on each side of each chicken thigh
- Once the olive oil is a bit hot, place the chicken thighs in the stove pan
- Allow to cook for about 2 minutes on each side, or until the outsides are a bit crispy. The chicken will not be cooked through and shouldn't be!
- Remove the chicken from the pan, and place each thigh in its "well" in the baking dish
- Bake for 25 minutes
- Serve immediately and enjoy!
If you like this, you’ll love: 5-Ingredient Stuffed Peppers (see?! another chicken recipe!)