A simple, satisfying roast chicken dinner is a timeless dish for a reason. It's flavorful, comforting and the leftovers can be used in endless ways. Chef Marcus Samuelsson is joining TODAY to share his jazzed up roast chicken recipes from his new cookbook, "The Rise: Black Cooks and the Soul of American Food: A Cookbook." He shows us how to make a deeply flavorful roast chicken with chickpeas and couscous and uses the bones to make a delicious chicken soup with mushrooms.
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This dish is in honor of Alberta Wright. Alberta Wright owned Jezebel, which was one of my inspirations for Red Rooster. When I think about Alberta's history — her fierceness combined with her incredible charm and grace, I am humbled by how much she accomplished, when she started with very little. She had an eighth-grade education, but she ended up opening a Jezebel in Paris. I am reminded that there are so many Albertas out there, a whole lineage of Black queens who won't be told what they can't do — they are charming, hardworking, talented — even if most of them don't get acknowledged. I was very lucky to have Alberta as a mentor. In fact, I wouldn't be in Harlem without her.
This recipe is in honor of Jessica B. Harris. Jessica is a cherished chronicler of African foodways throughout the diaspora. Her experiences have taken her all over the world and she's wined and dined with the best of them. Jessica, through her work, honors so many unsung Black figures whose names we don't know, who shaped Southern food and changed the course of American cooking. This comforting recipe is a small tribute to their ingenuity.
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