The Sweet Life

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.


Blackened Chicken

1 3-pound free-range organic chicken4 garlic cloves, finely chopped¼ cup blackened seasoning2 Tbsp olive oil1 lemon, halved½ bunch fresh thyme1 tsp fine sea salt½ tsp freshly ground black pepper


To marinate the steak:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Remove the chicken giblets. Rinse the chicken and pat it dry.
  2. In a small bowl, toss together the garlic, blackening seasoning, 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 F, 45 to 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 two minutes, then, pull the meat off in chunks.


Toasted Couscous

1 ½ cup almond milk
½ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ cup pine nut
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 cup israeli couscous
2 scallions, thinly sliced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 juice of 2 lemons


Meanwhile, to make the couscous:

  1. 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.
  2. In another medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, pine nuts, cinnamon, and turmeric. Cook until the spices loom and the aromatics take over the room, about 2 minutes. Add the couscous and cook, stirring until it is golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. 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. Season the couscous liberally with salt and pepper, then sprinkle with the lemon juice. Stir in the pulled chicken shreds to combine and serve warm.

Nutrition Facts

Provided by: The Sweet Life

Per Single Serving / Serves 6 Total

  • Calories 613
  • Total Fat 41g
  • Saturated Fat 8g
  • Sodium 724mg
  • Total Carbohydrates 28g
  • Fiber 3g
  • Protein 33g
  • Cholesterol 110mg

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Tags: Dinner, Chicken, Middle Eastern

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