Pulled Blackened Chicken With Toasted Couscous

Pulled Blackened Chicken With Toasted Couscous
2.5 from 8 ratings
Manna, a 24-hour Middle Eastern/Mediterranean restaurant that is just down the street from my apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, makes great traditional dishes like okra hummus and stuffed grape leaves — but my favorite by far is their roasted chicken with turmeric-scented couscous. It's a dish that should be on everyone's weeknight to-do list.  Click here to see 'Sweet' Cooking Advice from Sam Talbot.
  • one 3-pound chicken, preferably free-range and organic
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup blackening seasoning
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 1/2 bunch fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 cup israeli couscous
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • juice of 2 lemons
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken and pat dry.
  2. In a small bowl, toss together the garlic, blackening seasons, oil, lemon halves, thyme sprigs, salt, and pepper. Remove the lemon and thyme from the seasoning mixture and stick them into the cavity of the chicken. Rub the seasoning mixture all over the chicken and transfer the bird to a roasting pan.
  3. Roast the chicken until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the thigh registers 180 degrees, 45-50 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oven, take the lemon halves out of the cavity, and squeeze them over the chicken. Let the chicken cool for 10 minutes, then, pull the meat off in chunks.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine the almond milk and broth and bring to a rolling simmer over medium-high heat; keep on a back burner.
  5. In another medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, pine nuts, cinnamon, and turmeric. Cook until the spices bloom and the aromatics take over the room, about 2 minutes. Add the couscous and cook, stirring, until it is a golden brown, 2-3 minutes.
  6. Transfer the couscous to a large bowl and pour in the hot milk-broth mixture. Add the scallions. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and steam for at least 20 minutes.
  7. Season the couscous liberally with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with lemon juice. Stir in the pulled chicken shreds to combine and serve warm.