Roasted Moroccan Chicken with Carrot Top Pesto Couscous

Moroccan roasted chicken with carrot top pesto couscous and roasted carrots

I never thought I’d “grow up” to be a traditionalist. Sure, we had rituals when I was younger (cinnamon rolls on Thanksgiving, church on Easter, watermelon seed spitting contests on 4th of July…). But for the longest time, I thought my life was far from the Sunday-night-Roasted-Chicken-dinner kinda life. However, it wasn’t a surprising revelation- discovering that I truly wanted to uphold traditions. I really loved the concept actually. But up until a few years ago, no one really looked like me (at least that I saw) and, therefore, I had nothing to aspire to. I mean, how many ex-drummer, professional chef, gay moms have you seen? THANKFULLY those images are becoming more prominent and we now have so many amazing role models to look up to.

And it appears that the unfortunate lack of inspiration had been a blessing in disguise! Since I had to create an image out of nothing, it allowed me to dive deeper into my own, authentic traditional ways more. Now, my family rocks tradition so hard. Yeah, I know I may be the only gay mom at the bake sale. But dammit, my chocolate chip cookies are gonna knock your socks off so be cool, Brenda! And now, we are totally a Sunday-night-Roasted-Chicken-dinner kinda family… in our own perfectly unique, authentic way.

Moroccan roasted chicken with carrot top pesto couscous

With all that being said, this may not your “traditional” chicken dinner in the crispy skin, mashed potatoes, and green beans sense. However, this recipe so is easy, healthy, and flavorful that it’ll definitely be a go-to for years to come. The Moroccan spices give the chicken so much depth of flavor it’ll taste like you’ve spent all day in the kitchen (instead of the 30 minutes it actually took to prep). And couscous is so easy to prepare, you could do it in your sleep! I even made a pesto with the tops of the carrots so there was minimal waste (you’re welcome, environment!). Try it and I know you’ll agree its a keeper!!

For all of the roasted chicken purists, check out my tips for roasting and carving!

Ingredients to help with this recipes:

Print Recipe
Moroccan Chicken with Carrot Top Pesto Couscous and Roasted Carrots
Prep Time 30 min
Cook Time 30-40 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Chicken
Couscous
Roasted Carrots
Prep Time 30 min
Cook Time 30-40 minutes
Servings
people
Ingredients
Chicken
Couscous
Roasted Carrots
Instructions
Chicken
  1. Mix all of the spices (reserve 1 tsp for carrots) olive oil, salt, and bloomed saffron in large bowl. Add in the chicken pieces and marinate for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. place chicken in oven-safe pan. Add chicken stock (or water) to pan and roast for 30-40 minutes (or until the internal temperature is 158 degrees).
    Saffron
  2. In a small bowl, mix honey, roasted almonds (save 5 for pesto), preserved lemon peel, and 1/2 tsp warm water. Pour honey mixture over roasted chicken before serving.
Carrots
  1. Trim tops of carrots and set aside for salsa verde. Season carrots with spice blend, olive oil, and salt. Roast for 10 minutes.
    Carrots
Couscous
  1. Blend carrot tops, parsley, 5 almonds, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper and set aside. Place couscous in separate bowl. Boil water then add to couscous. Cover couscous with plastic wrap and let steam for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and fold in 1-2 tbsp pesto. Season with salt to taste.
    Moroccan chicken and carrots
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