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Instant Pot

Toasted Pearl Couscous with Chicken and Chickpeas (Fast & Slow)

4 Servings

1 hour 35 minutes active

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A key step for achieving maximum flavor in this one-pot meal is to toast the pearl couscous, which deepens its wheaty flavor and yields a nutty aroma. A sauté of garlic, onion, cumin and allspice creates a heady base for simultaneously cooking boneless chicken thighs and the toasted couscous; cutting the chicken into bite-sized pieces allows everything to finish cooking at the same same time. A spoonful of tangy-sweet pomegranate molasses brightens the flavors while balancing the warm, earthy spices.




Don't use regular couscous. Pearl couscous, sometimes referred to as Israeli couscous, is much larger so it cooks differently than regular couscous and retains a satisfying chew. Also, don't slice the carrots thinner than ½ inch or they will turn to mush.

1 hour

35 minutes active


  • 2

    tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil, divided

  • 1

    cup pearl couscous


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Lane G.

Suggestions for substitutes for pomegranate molasses since it is not available?

Ann L.

I looked at and chose alternative #4 - Lemon Juice & Honey. I used a 3 to 1 ratio of the two: e.g. 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice and 2 teaspoon honey. It worked out fine. I detected some sour and little bit of sweet in the mix. Might use more next time. I don't know what the recipe tastes like with pomegranate molasses so I was just winging it.

Jennifer S.

Delicious, fragrant and easy. I didn't have an instant pot but I cooked at times per recipe and used two cooked chopped chicken breasts. Everyone in the family enjoyed the dish and the aromatic scents had them circling in the kitchen! I was sans molasses and twas still a hit.

Kelly G.

This is another winner for me - so tasty! I made my own Pomegranate Molasses since it's not available here or locally & it worked great. Toasting the couscous and using the fresh parsley and lemon juice really added to the flavors. I always learn something new about how to use my Instant Pot with these recipes, so thank you for being so detailed in the directions. I used only half the salt, as well as low-sodium chickpeas, and it was perfectly seasoned for my taste. I'll definitely make this again!

Lynda B.

This was a wonderful meal on a cool Sunday evening. There were compliments all around on the first bite. I had purchased pomegranate marmalade for another Milk Street recipe. That took a couple of stops but it was worth it.