Herbed Summer Squash and Couscous Salad with Crispy Chicken Thighs

Seriously, ya'll.  Go buy The New Southern Garden Cookbook. You wont regret it.  It's real, real cool. 

This dinner comes from the squash section of the book.  I got my squash from the Greenwood Farmers market on Saturday, the woman that sold it to me has got to be, by far, the most animated person that has ever sold fresh produce in Greenwood.  Or maybe anywhere!  But I'll bet on Greenwood.  Because I'm a conservative better.  And probably not making accurate statements.  Let's move on.

Lets move in, indeed.  To chicken thighs.  I've graduated from boneless, skinless chicken thighs to bone in, skin on chicken thighs.  
Hold the phone.  Looks like someone (me) is growing up!  Or at least growing up in the kitchen.  My functioning as a mature adult might be questionable.

So these thighs hung out in my fridge all day on Saturday.  There they sat on a rack, covered in salt.  Preparing to be roasted.  It's safe to say that I didn't spend much time lurking in the fridge on Saturday.  

Hey!  There's a diet idea.  Stick raw chicken in places where you usually go looking for food. That would sure as heck keep me out.  

So why were these chicken thighs  hanging in the fridge all day?  Because they were getting ready to get crispy in the oven.  Salting the skin of thigh pulls the moisture out when you let it sit in the fridge.  Then you cook it in the oven and the skin gets crispy.  Well.  That's what is supposed to happen.  That didn't really happen with mine.  Of course.  But they were still good!  I'm faulting my skanky rental house oven and not the recipe.  If you have a fancy oven, you should for sure try this technique.  

And everyone should try the herbed summer squash and couscous salad.  It was out of this world, a keeper, and a new summer favorite!  

And my thought process is for sure circumstantial right now.  Squash.  Chicken. Squash.  
Herbed Summer Squash and Couscous Salad with Crispy Chicken Thighs
adapted from The Southern Garden Cookbook

For the salad:

8 oz couscous
4 tbl lemon infused olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 1/2 lb summer squash, diced
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped basil, lightly packed
zest and juice of one lemon
1/4 cup of pine nuts, toasted
salt and pepper

Prepare couscous according to the package directions.  Pour into a large bowl and add 2 tbl of the olive oil.  Stir occasionally.  

Heat the remaining 2 tbl of olive oil in a large pan.  Add the onions and a pinch of salt, cook for about eight minutes or until soft.  Add the squash, cook until crisp tender, about five minutes.  Add to the couscous.  

Stir in the cheese, basil, lemon juice, and pine nuts.  Serve warm or at room temp. 

Serving size 1 cup (makes 9 servings)
Points plus 5

For the thighs:

2 lb of bone in, skin on chicken thighs (4 thighs)
2-3 tsp of kosher salt

Place the chicken thighs on a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet.  Pull the skin to where it is covering as much of the chicken as possible.  Salt the skin.  Place in the fridge, uncovered, for at least four hours.  The longer it is in the fridge, the more moisture the salt will pull out and the crispier it will be.  So they say

Preheat the oven to 450.  Cook the chicken until done, about 20 minutes.  

Serving size 1 chicken thigh
Points plus 4   


  1. i can't do bone-in, but i admire your bravery.

  2. I pinned this onto my "Things Johnston and The Gays Should Cook for Me" board. Because it looks delightful!