Recipes

Lemon Harissa Chicken

Serves 4

| Prep Time: 10 mins

| Cook Time: 30 mins

| Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins

You may need: Dried Garlic Powder

Discover The Recipe

Harissa is a fiery, aromatic paste that is a staple in Moroccan cuisine. Typically made of smoked chilis ground with spices, garlic, and oil, the result is a flavor-packed paste with a medium-high heat. Perfect for use as a marinade on meats, it's also a seasoning in soups, stews / tagine, couscous, and used as a condiment. Harissa has seen a surge in popularity around the world as chefs have started using Harissa in fusion dishes such as this baked Lemon Harissa Chicken recipe to add a lovely heat and bold flavor profile.

Harissa is usually prepared as a paste with oil but you can use our spice blend as a standalone dry rub. However, if you're going to use it on meat, we do recommend trying out our lemon yogurt marinade in this recipe as the yogurt helps the flavor penetrate deeply into the meat. This recipe is easy enough to make on a busy weeknight and makes a delicious meal. While we have dialed back the fiery heat in our blend from an authentic North African recipe, if you are sensitive to hot spice, use less Harissa in the recipe. You can always let your dinner guests add more once served. Yogurt is a natural meat tenderizer so the longer you marinate your chicken (up to overnight), the more tender the meat.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp Piquant Post Harissa Spice Blend

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (~1/2 lemon)

  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1/4 cup of plain Greek yogurt

  • 1.5 lbs of chicken thighs (bone-in or boneless ok)

  • 8 oz chickpeas (1/2 can, drained and rinsed)

  • 2 carrots, sliced in 1/2 inch diagonals

  • 1 onion, sliced

  • salt & pepper to taste

  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (~1 lemon)

  • handful of cilantro, chopped (optional)

  • 1/4 cup greek yogurt

  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice (~1/2 lemon)

Notes

Any cut of chicken will work with this lemon harissa chicken recipe. Chicken thighs or legs are particularly good for this dish because they cook quickly and their fat balances the heat from the harissa.

Instead of baking the chicken you can use the harissa spice blend as a rub and grill or broil the meat to get a light char and extra smokiness.

This recipe calls for marinating the chicken in greek yogurt for 30 minutes. Yogurt is a remarkably effective meat tenderizer and can work quickly. Even if you only have 10 minutes to marinate the chicken, you the yogurt will start penetrating into the meat.

For the best flavor, marinate the chicken overnight.

Feel free to add other veggies to the pan. We suggest kale, turnips, cauliflower, or potatoes.

Instructions

Make Harissa paste by mixing all ingredients listed under ‘Harissa Marinade' except yogurt in a small bowl. Next, in a separate bowl, add 3 tbsp of the Harissa paste* to the yogurt and stir to mix. Set aside remaining Harissa paste. [*note: use less Harissa paste if you want to lower the spicy heat]

In a large zipper bag or a non-reactive bowl, combine chicken thighs and the marinade. Toss to coat. Then, refrigerate and cover for 30 minutes to overnight.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees and move wire rack to the middle. Then add chickpeas, carrots and onions to a sheet pan or large glass baking dish. Spread marinated chicken over veggies. Season with salt & pepper.

Bake for 30 mins or until chicken is cooked through to 165 deg F. While chicken is in the oven, make the lemon yogurt dip in a small bowl to spoon on chicken as a condiment and set aside. Once finished cooking, remove tray from oven and let rest for 5 mins. Chickpeas should be a little crisp on the edges and carrots soft. Then, garnish with cilantro. Finally, serve with lemony yogurt dip and remaining Harissa as condiments.

Alternatives & Substitutions

  • Think of our Harissa Spice blend as a Swiss army knife of the kitchen. For any dish where you desire a bold heat and delicious flavor, harissa is ready for the job.

  • Vegans, try out this yummy harissa veggie bowl. Make a harissa paste (no yogurt) using our recipe and then add in as called for in the veggie bowl recipe.

  • Lemon harissa chicken can easily be made into a crockpot meal. If you have time to marinate the chicken do so. If not, rub the spice blend or paste on the chicken and drop into the crockpot along with all veggies and other ingredients. Cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours.

  • Also, try our Moroccan Lentil Carrot Soup recipe.  Spice it up with a pinch of harissa!

  • Here's a beef harissa stew recipe that looks like a great alternative. Use 2 tbsp of our Harissa Spice blend in place of all dried spices listed in their recipe.

  • You can also use the spice blend as a rub on any meat, such as beef, pork, lamb (or authentically, even goat!). Harissa and bbq grilling go together like PB & J.

  • Try this roasted vegetables with harissa recipe for another easy vegan meal. Make Harissa paste using our recipe (just the ingredient up to oil; no yogurt).

  • Here's a few more quick and easy ideas to use the harissa: add harissa to mayo for a spicy sandwich spread; cook your rice in harissa for a glorious spice in your rice; add it to marinara sauce for a new take on pasta; sprinkle it on popcorn instead of salt and butter for a spicy crunch; garnish the rim of your homemade bloody mary to serve the hippest brunch in town.

  • Don't forget to leave comments and feedback on your meals and experiments in the comments for others to read.

  • Post pictures of your masterpiece meal on social media and tag us. We repost!

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