It’s back to school time and I’m not sure if I’m ready. My oldest daughter will be starting her freshman year of college and my youngest daughter will be a senior in high school. It’s the last year I’ll get to take a first day of school picture, the last year to have a child living at home, and the last year I have to work around school drop-off and pick-up times. I can’t decide whether to celebrate (it’s been a long 19 years) or go cry in a corner (it’s been a fast 19 years). While I may be an emotional hot mess at the moment at least I’ve got dinner handled (sometimes it’s the little things that help us get through the tough times). This easy weeknight recipe for chicken and sausage paella with couscous will help get you through the school year or anytime you just need to get dinner out fast.
Paella is not usually a quick-cook meal but replacing the rice with couscous and using boneless chicken thighs and pre-cooked andouille sausage cuts the cooking time dramatically while still providing all the flavors you would expect from paella. I know paella purists will scoff that there is no crunchy rice layer at the bottom (aka the socarrat) but I’m prioritizing ease over authenticity here. Weeknight dinners demand it.
I’ll be dropping off my daughter at college next week. So I’m thinking only comfort food recipes for the foreseeable future. Sorry. Not Sorry.
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into pieces
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces andouille sausage, sliced (I used chicken andouille sausage)
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- 1 pinch of saffron threads
- 1½ cups couscous
- 1 medium tomato, finely diced
- 2 cups frozen peas
- Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
- Hot sauce, for serving
- In a large deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Season the chicken pieces all over with salt and pepper. Add the chicken to the skillet and cook until the chicken is well seared, 3-5 minutes. Add the sausage and cook until the sausage is heated through.
- Add the onion, garlic, and a generous pinch of salt to the skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened and chicken is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Stir in the wine and simmer until almost evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the broth, tomato sauce, and saffron and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the couscous, tomato, and peas. Reduce heat to low so broth is at a low simmer, cover the skillet, and cook for about 3-5 minutes, until the couscous is tender and the liquid has been absorbed.
- Sprinkle with parsley and serve with hot sauce, if desired.
Recipe adapted from Just Cook It! by Justin Chapple.
Other Quick and Easy Dinners
This chicken and veggie pad thai is loaded with healthy veggies and lots of flavors.
These salmon guacamole bacon wraps are protein packed and come together in a snap .