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This chicken and couscous dish is a winning weeknight dinner

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Bursting with the aromatic flavours of saffron, chorizo and garlic, this chicken and couscous dish is a winning weeknight dinner. When developing this recipe, we started with classic chicken and rice, but found that the rice was not cooking at the same rate as the chicken in the multicooker—we ended up with either stubbornly crunchy rice or egregiously overcooked chicken.

Since tasters loved the Spanish flavour profile of the dish, we went in search of a different grain that would work in tandem with the chicken. A few tests revealed that couscous was the crowd favourite, and it couldn’t have been simpler: Couscous doesn’t require cooking at all, just soaking, which meant we could add it to the pot after pressure or slow cooking and allow it to simply absorb the ultraflavorful cooking liquid. If using the slow cook function, begin checking the chicken’s temperature after 1 hour and continue to monitor until it is done.

SPANISH-STYLE CHICKEN AND COUSCOUS

Servings: 4

Pressure cook total time: 1 hour

Slow cook total time: 2 hours, 40 minutes

4 (12 ounce) bone-in split chicken breasts, trimmed

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and chopped fine

4 ounces Spanish-style chorizo sausage, cut into 1/4 inch pieces

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/8 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled

1/2 cup chicken broth

1 1/2 cups couscous

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

2 teaspoons lemon juice

3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Using highest sauté or browning function, heat oil in multicooker for 5 minutes (or until just smoking.) Place half of chicken, skin side down, in multicooker and cook until browned, 5 to 7 minutes; transfer to plate. Repeat with remaining chicken; transfer to plate.

Add bell pepper, chorizo, and 1/4 teaspoon salt to fat left in multicooker and cook until bell pepper is softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and saffron and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in broth, scraping up any browned bits. Nestle chicken, skin side up, into multicooker, adding any accumulated juices.

— To pressure cook: Lock lid in place and close pressure release valve. Select high pressure cook function and cook for 17 minutes. (If using Instant Pot, decrease cooking time to 9 minutes.) Turn off multicooker and quick-release pressure. Carefully remove lid, allowing steam to escape away from you.

— To slow cook: Lock lid in place and open pressure release valve. Select low slow cook function and cook until chicken registers 160 F, 1 to 2 hours. (If using Instant Pot, select high slow cook function.) Turn off multicooker and carefully remove lid, allowing steam to escape away from you.

Transfer chicken to serving dish and discard skin, if desired. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest while preparing -couscous.

Stir couscous, peas, and lemon juice into multicooker, cover, and let sit until couscous is tender, about 5 minutes. Add parsley and fluff couscous gently with fork to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with chicken.

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