I’m a huge fan of sheet pan dinners and these Sheet Pan Chicken Thighs with Curried Vegetables and Couscous is a fantastic one-pan meal! If you’ve tried my Sheet Pan Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Veggies, this is a great follow up to try!
It’s easier than a Roast Chicken because there is no carving to do, and it’s quicker too allowing you to get a complete chicken dinner the table in less than an hour!
Why You Will Love this:
- The chicken is moist and juicy with crispy skin flavored with the hint of sweetness coming from the cinnamon.
- The chicken and vegetables create a delicious sauce that is fantastic when poured over the couscous
- The vegetables become tender and syrupy in the oven.
- You can serve the entire meal on one platter family-style, which makes for an easy and pretty presentation.
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What Cut of Chicken Works Best For a Sheet Pan Dinner?
This recipe works best with dark cuts of chicken such as chicken thighs, quarters, or drumsticks. The dark meat remains moist and juicy during the 45 minutes of cooking time needed to cook the vegetables, whereas the white meat would begin to dry out.
Bone-in, skin-on cuts also keep the meat moist as well, since they take longer to cook than boneless cuts, and the rendered fat from the skin, keeps the meat moist, while also flavoring the vegetables.
The carrots are the star of the show. They are the most prominent vegetable in the couscous so I like to make them look as decorative as possible. Cutting them on the diagonal is a simple trick that will make them look extra fancy.
The curry powder in the vegetables really makes this dish sing! If you’re a curry powder fan, you may also like my Quinoa with Roasted Curried Vegetable recipe. That’s a great vegetarian option to try!
Cooking the Couscous
Couscous has to be one of the easiest side dishes to make because it cooks in just 5 minutes. There’s no worry of overcooking it because it cooks with the heat off, it’s actually the residual steam from boiled water that cooks it. This alleviates the need to be strapped to the stovetop stirring and checking on it. All you have to do is fluff it up with a fork when it’s done!
Getting The Timing Right:
I love couscous as a side dish to the cinnamon chicken because you can whip it up during the last 5 minutes of the chicken’s cooking time. And when your chicken is done, the couscous will be done.
But if the timing thing stresses you out, do what I do! Just keep the chicken in the oven at 200F. This will keep it warm while you prepare the couscous. There is no worry of drying out the chicken because that’s very hard to do with dark meat cuts.
You can substitute the dried fruit and pistachios for other combinations. Dried cherries, figs, or apricots would also be great. If you can’t find shelled pistachios, it’s not worth shelling them yourself! Instead use raw, sliced almonds or pine nuts.
This meal is beautifully served on a large rustic platter. Place the couscous down first as a bed, pour some of the sauce from the sheet pan on top, then spoon the vegetables over the couscous and then place the chicken. I also use the orange slices as garnishes and sprinkle with a little bit more mint on top.
Then you can let everyone serve themselves! It’s such a pretty dinner idea that’s special enough for a Sunday night dinner but also easy enough for a weeknight meal!
How-To Reheat the Leftovers
This recipe also makes great leftovers too! Just pack up the chicken in one container, and the couscous and vegetables in another. Reheat the couscous in the microwave until hot, and place the chicken on a sheet pan at 350F for 15 minutes.
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- FOR THE CHICKEN:
- 8 Chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on (4lbs) (1800g)
- ½ tsp (2.5ml) kosher salt
- 2 tbsp (30ml) freshly squeezed navel orange Juice
- 1 tbsp (30ml) olive oil, separated
- ½ tsp (2.5ml) ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp (5ml) dried parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- FOR THE VEGETABLES:
- 2 cups (300g) Vidalia sweet onions, cut into ½ inch thick wedges
- 2 cups (300g) carrots, cut into 2 inch long pieces and then sliced in half, lengthwise, on the diagonal
- 3 garlic cloves sliced thinly
- 3 tbsp (45ml) olive oil
- 1 tsp (5ml) curry powder
- ¼ tsp (1.25ml) kosher salt
- Freshly cracked pepper to taste
- 4 Navel orange wheels, sliced ½ inch thick, cut in half
- FOR THE COUSCOUS:
- 1 cup (240ml) of water
- 2 tbsp (30g) butter
- ½ tsp (2.5ml) salt
- 1 cup (180ml) couscous
- 1/4 cup (40g) raisins or currants
- ¼ cup (40g) Golden Raisins
- ¼ cup (40g) raw shelled pistachios
FOR THE CHICKEN AND VEGETABLES:
Unfurl the chicken thighs so that they lay flat and the skin is stretched as far as it will go. This will allow the skin to become crispy. Place the chicken thighs on a sheet pan, spreading them out so that they have room in between them.
Season each thigh with a good sprinkle of salt, underneath the skin. Then brush the skin of each thigh with the olive oil. Sprinkle the top of each thigh with the cinnamon, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Set the tray aside.
In a large bowl combine the onions, carrots and garlic. Add the olive oil, curry powder, salt and pepper, and the juice of half an orange. Toss to coat.
Add the vegetable mixture to the sheet pan, placing the vegetables in and around the chicken. Add the orange slices evenly distributed on top of the vegetables.
Place the tray in a preheated oven at 425F for 45 minutes. Once done, keep warm in a 200F oven while you prepare the couscous.
FOR THE COUSCOUS:
Place water, butter, and salt in a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add couscous. Turn off the heat and cover for 5 minutes.
Fluff the couscous with a fork and then add the currants, raisins, pistachios, and mint. Toss together and transfer to a serving bowl.
Transfer the chicken to a plate momentarily so it's easier to get to the vegetables and the sauce. You'll place the chicken on top of the platter last.
Transfer the couscous to a large platter. Spread it out so it acts as a bed. Then with a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables on top. Then add the sauce that formed from the chicken on top of the couscous. This is "to taste" so only add as much sauce as you like. You can also reserve the rest to serve alongside the chicken in a gravy boat.
Place the caramelized orange wheels around the platter as a garnish. Then place the chicken on top of the couscous and vegetables. Garnish with freshly chopped mint over the whole platter.
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