5 ratings

Mandarin Chicken With Giant Couscous and Charred Broccoli

Try this recipe for a simple and satisfying weeknight supper

A family favorite, and easy enough for a simple midweek supper. If you can start marinating the chicken first thing in the morning, ready to cook at night, that is ideal; otherwise just a few minutes while the onions are cooking will be enough to help the flavors along. — Catherine Phipps, author of Citrus


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  • 2 onions, peeled and cut into thin wedges
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 –10 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 3 mandarins
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime or 1/2 lemon
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • A few sprigs of thyme or rosemary
  • 7 Tablespoons vermouth

For the couscous:

  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1 1/3 Cup cups giant couscous
  • 2 Cups plus 1 tablespoon water or chicken stock
  • 2/3 Cups flaked or nibbed almonds, lightly toasted


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F

Put the onions in the base of a roasting tin and drizzle over a tablespoon of the olive oil.

Add a splash of water to the tin and roast in the oven for 10 minutes.

Put the chicken thighs in a bowl and season well with salt and pepper.

Rub in the mandarin and lime or lemon zests.

Remove the tin from the oven and give the onions a good stir — they should be well on their way to softening with very little color.

Sprinkle over the garlic, making sure most of it falls in the center of the tin, then add the thyme or rosemary.

Arrange the chicken thighs over the onions.

Whisk the vermouth with the citrus juices then pour this around the chicken.

Drizzle over the remaining olive oil.

Roast in the oven for 45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through with a crisp golden skin and the liquid is syrupy.

While the chicken is roasting in the oven, toss the broccoli florets with a tablespoon of the oil.

Arrange on a baking tray and sprinkle with salt, the lemon zest and chilli.

Put in the oven, below the chicken, preferably with some space in between the two, and roast for 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven — it should be lightly charred.

For the couscous:

To cook the couscous, heat the remaining olive oil in a saucepan.

Add the couscous and toast for a few minutes.

Pour in the water or stock and cook gently, stirring, until all the liquid is absorbed and the couscous is soft, about 15 minutes.

Check regularly and add a little more liquid if necessary towards the end if the couscous isn’t yet done.


Toss the couscous with the broccoli and the almonds.

Serve with the chicken, with the citrusy sauce and onions spooned over.



Variation: You don’t have to make this with giant couscous — a quick couscous, rice or some potatoes would be just as good.

Serves 4


Adapted from Citrus by Catherine Phipps (Quadrille, 2017, RRP $29.99 hardcover)