Aurora Culpo


Chef Bae’s Pomegranate Honey Chicken and Mediterranean fennel couscous

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12 chicken parts, bone-in, with skin, legs, thighs, breasts
Nonstick cooking spray
½ cup silan (date syrup) or honey
¼ cup dark brown sugar or muscovado sugar, for paleo
¼ cup pomegranate juice
¼ cup teriyaki sauce
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon tomato paste
½ teaspoon dried thyme
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
1 tablespoon butter of choice
Fresh pomegranate seeds, for garnish


Use foil to line a baking dish that holds the chicken pieces snugly. Arrange the chicken in a single layer. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400°F. In a small pot over medium heat, whisk the silan or honey, brown sugar, pomegranate juice, teriyaki sauce, cornstarch, tomato paste, thyme, and garlic. Bring to a simmer over medium heat for a minute or two until thickened. Whisk in the margarine. Reduce heat slightly. Cook for 1 minute. Generously brush the pomegranate mixture on each piece of chicken. Drizzle additional sauce over the top of each piece.

Bake, uncovered, 45 minutes, until chicken is no longer pink at the bone. The dark meat may take a little longer, if so, remove the white meat to a platter and cook the dark until done. Brush with the sauce in the pan every 15 minutes during cooking. After 45 minutes, turn on the broiler and broil the chicken until the skin is brown and crispy; keep a close eye on it. Transfer to a platter and baste again with pan sauce. Garnish with fresh pomegranate seeds and some of the pan sauce.

Pearled Couscous with Braised Fennel Recipe 


• 1 tablespoon neutral oil

• 1 yellow onion peeled and thinly sliced

• 1 large fennel bulb trimmed, cored, and sliced into thin wedges

• 3 tablespoons butter

• 1 heaping tablespoon harissa paste

• 1 cup pearl couscous

• 3 cups water or stock plus more as needed

• Salt and pepper to taste

For serving:

• ½ cup labneh or Greek yogurt

• 1 tablespoon lemon juice

• Fennel fronds reserved from the fennel bulb

• Pomegranate seeds


• Heat the oil in a wide pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion and fennel and cook, occasionally stirring, for 7–10 minutes until they begin to deepen in color. Adjust the heat as necessary to prevent burning. Continue cooking until the fennel is a deep, golden brown—season with salt and pepper.

Cook the harissa paste:

• Melt the butter into the fennel and onions. Once melted and bubbly, add the harissa paste and let it sizzle in the butter for 30 seconds. Toss to coat the aromatics in the paste for 45 seconds more.

• Add the pearl couscous and toss to coat. Cook for 1–2 minutes.

Simmer the couscous:

• Pour in the water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20–25 minutes until the couscous is tender. Add more water, if necessary, if the liquid evaporates too quickly or if the couscous sticks. You may need to add up to ¼ cup or ½ cup of additional water—taste and season with salt and pepper.

Prepare the labneh sauce:

• While the couscous simmers, combine the labneh, lemon juice, and a big pinch of salt and stir. Add water, 1 tablespoon at a time, whisking after each addition until the sauce is a drizzling consistency—taste and season with more salt.

•Place the couscous on a platter and top with the chicken, labneh, pomegranate seeds & fennel fronds. 

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I'm Aurora. Welcome to My World. (A Little Messy, But Fun.)

The oldest girl of 5 siblings, my leadership skills are sharp, but some might just call it bossy... I grew up in Rhode Island in a tight Italian family of eccentric classical musicians and restauranteurs. 

After having my own children, I took my love for research, analyzing, writing and teaching into the words of social media. Now a days I use my professional skills in a totally different way by digging deep into what makes people tick, connecting with my community and sharing what’s keeping me most sane during these early years of raising babies which is so joyful but so tough at times!



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