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Toasted Pearl Couscous with Chicken and Chickpeas

4 Servings

30 minutes

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The classic combination of Palestinian maftoul, a pasta similar to pearl couscous, and chickpeas inspired this quick and easy one-pot meal. Before cooking the couscous pilaf-style, we toast the seed-sized bits to deepen their wheaty flavor and aroma. A sauté of browned garlic, onion, cumin and allspice creates a heady base for simultaneously poaching boneless chicken thighs and steaming the toasted couscous; the chicken gets a 5-minute head start before the couscous is added so everything finishes at the same same time. A spoonful of tangy-sweet pomegranate molasses brightens the flavors while balancing the warm, earthy spices.




Don't worry if browned bits form on the bottom of the saucepan as you sauté the garlic, onion and carrots. These bits, called fond, help build rich flavor in the dish.

30 minutes



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Amy C.

Is there a substitute for the pomegrante molasses? It is sold out online.

Barbara K.

This is so delicious! I ended up using less salt, which was fine. But I wish I had seasoned the chicken before cooking, as it didn't have enough flavor on its own.

Laura F.

I havent made it yet, but when I do make these recipes, as presented to a skeptical family ,I am undoubtedly asked if this dish is supposed to be a slurry or wet pilaf/or wet jambalya , and hence, kinda less "brothy" than that of a soup with distinctly composed ingredients? (Judging from the picture, there seems to be a lot of liquid, but I am not so much as even a clue really.)

Penny E.

This recipe has a TABLESPOON of salt for 4 people, plus the salt in the canned beans. That’s more salt than one should consume in a whole day! I’ll probably try this, but with 1/4 of the salt

Sebastian M.

The demonstrated recipe on the show is not the same as this recipe. Where is it?

Chiranjit G.

Is the recipe above slightly different from the recipe from the episode? The episode starts with making the broth with skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, and uses nutmeg & cinnamon rather than all-spice.

Lynn C.

Hi Sebastian and Chiranjit -

We have a couple of similar pearl couscous recipes. The correct recipe from the episode can be found here: and is also linked in the episode page on the website. Sorry for the confusion!

The Milk Street Team