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Roasted African-Spiced Chicken with Citrus Couscous and Honey Carrots

by Mya Zeronis
Lean Chef En Route


Harissa-Marinated Chicken:
1 cup boiling water
1 gram saffron threads
8 oz. tomato paste
Juice & zest of 3 lemons
1/3 cup blended oil
4 tablespoons minced garlic
1/4 cup ground cumin
1/4 cup ground coriander
1/4 cup paprika
1/8 cup pepper flakes
1/8 cup white pepper
3 tablespoons kosher salt
24 chicken leg quarters, feathers removed

Honey-Glazed Carrots:
3 tablespoon blended oil
6 pounds carrots cut into 2-inch lengths; halved or quartered if thick
3 cups chicken stock
1-1/2 cups honey
1 tablespoon kosher salt

Pine Nut-Lemon Couscous:
9 cups instant couscous
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 quarts + 1 cup hot boiled water
1/4 cup blended oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon coarse black pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
2 cups pine nuts, toasted

To cook dish to order:
1/2-inch cubed butter
1 ounce chicken stock
1 sprig cilantro (garnish)


Pour boiling water over saffron threads in a small non-reactive mixing bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes. Gradually add all wet ingredients in the order listed, whisking slowly until consistent. Mix in spices and seasonings.

Using gloved hands, thoroughly rub chicken arranged on full sheet trays with harissa. Let sit for 30 minutes to marinate before placing in walk-in cooler.

In a braising pan, heat oil over medium-high. Add carrots; cook, stirring three times, until beginning to brown for 5 minutes.

Add stock and honey. Season with salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium. Cover with foil sheet and let simmer until tender about 12 minutes. Divide juice and carrots into 24 servings; let cool before refrigerating.

Slowly pour water over couscous and salt in a large mixing bowl. Stir a few times; then cover bowl with plastic wrap. Allow five minutes for couscous to absorb water. Uncover plastic; add oil and fluff with a rubber spatula. Mix in remaining ingredients. Portion 24 servings.

Bake a chicken leg quarter on a sizzle platter in 450-degree oven for 12-15 minutes. When chicken is close to done, heat carrots uncovered in a saute pan over medium heat for 4 minutes or until liquid is syrupy. Remove from heat and add butter.

Heat up couscous with chicken stock in a small saute pan over low heat for 2 minutes.

When thermometer inserted into the thickest part of chicken leg reaches 165 degrees F and juice runs clear, meat is cooked.

On a third of a plate, make a small pile of couscous. Place chicken leg side leaning over couscous. Top with carrots; garnish with cilantro.

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