Oregano Chicken with Pearl Couscous is a Greek inspired dish that’s easy to prep, cooks in no time, and perfect for a weeknight dinner or Saturday lunch on the patio.
Have I mentioned lately how much I love Mediterranean food?
The first time I made a Greek inspired chicken I was in my early 20’s – back before I really realized how big cooking and food would end up making an impact on me. I knew I loved it, but I didn’t realize to what extent.
This recipe consisted of chicken breasts with oregano, olive oil, black olives and red wine, served with couscous and feta cheese.
I was in love.
Since then, I’ve made it so many times, so many different ways.
The one I’m sharing with you now is a little bit more lemony and the couscous got bigger. I made this after being contacted by Plated.com to develop a chicken recipe.
This is Israeli couscous, and the main differences are the size and the time to cook it.
Traditional couscous is tiny little pasta pearls that could be mistaken for teensy balls of rice.
What Is Israeli Couscous?
Israeli couscous, also known as pearl couscous, or “ptitim” in Hebrew, was developed in Israel in the 1950s when rice was scarce due to austerity, or food rationing, in Israel.
Despite the name, it is not really couscous.
Traditional couscous, usually steamed, is made from wheat flour and semolina, is tiny little pasta pearls that could be mistaken for teensy balls of rice.
Israeli couscous has a bigger, ball-like shape and is toasted, rather than dried, after the granules are formed.
This process gives Israeli couscous a nuttier flavor and chewy bite that adds an unexpected touch to regional recipes.
Despite the name, it is not a type of couscous.
I also threw in a few more things, like black eyed peas which I made a “salsa” with.
Or a salad if you want to call it that.
Either will work.
Oh, and I also got crazy and threw in a jalapeno for the fun of it. Jalapeños belong in everything, didn’t you know that?
The salsa isn’t necessarily the most important part of this particular meal, but it happens to be my favorite.
I think this dish works because although it’s traditional and the flavors are well known, I’ve incorporated some ingredients that aren’t.
For instance, I used black eyed peas in my “salsa”, which in a way, sorta, kinda takes the place of chickpeas, or hummus, in the traditional Greek fare. It also resonates my Southern background.
I just love how the tomato, lemon and feta really blend well with the peas.
This salsa is a freakin’ rock star.
I drizzled extra lemon juice and added more feta on mine, and I really suggest you do the same.
Oh, and save any leftover salsa for pita chips the next day.
Here’s your printable –
Want more Mediterranean Inspiration?
Homemade Greek Seasoning by Sumptuous Spoonfuls
Greek Chicken Kabobs from Ally’s Kitchen
Hummus by This Is How I Cook