Harissa roast chicken

Harissa roast chicken

Brrrrrr, it’s a bit nippy out there. At least is up here in London where the thermometer is firmly stuck around or below zero and there’s snow on the ground. So methinks it’s time for something to lift the spirits a little.

This Moroccan inspired chicken dish should bring the scents of the souk and just a hint of Saharan heat to cold kitchens. Sure it takes a bit of forethought, but this cold snap ain’t going away.

Marinating the chicken for as long as you can really adds to the flavour of this dish as the yogurt tenderises the meat and allows the spicy harissa to really permeate. The pay off is beautifully moist chicken with a wonderfully warm and spicy flavour all the way through.

As an added bonus the oven will heat up your kitchen a little and the most wonderful smells will fill the room as the chicken first heats slowly, and then starts to crisp up at the end. Who cares about the cold now? I don’t.

Marinating the chicken in harissa and yoghurt
Marinating the chicken

Harissa roast chicken
Feeds three with some cous cous or some other accompaniment to mop up the juices

The ingredients are simplicity in themselves. sure you can add more, but you don;t really need to. Just make sure you get the long (24 hours is the ideal length) marinade time in. The longer it sits in the spicy yogurt, the better the flavour will be,

6 Chicken pieces on the bone – I used legs, thighs and wings
1 tblsp Greek yoghurt
2 tblsp harissa
A little sea salt

Mush the yoghurt and harissa together then smear it over the chicken pieces with your hands. Get good and messy and ensure it’s rubbed into every nook and cranny. Put them in a plastic container, seal it and leave over night.

Heat the oven to 200 C, put the chicken pieces in a roasting tray and roast for 20-25 minutes, turning after 10 minutes.

Turn them back over after the 25 mins is up and spoon some of the juice back over the chicken pieces. Season with the sea salt.

Turn the heat up as far as it will go and roast for a further 15 minutes. eave to rest for five minutes, then serve.

3 Responses to “Harissa roast chicken”

  1. s

    that sounds really lovely- i make something similar- harissa, ginger/garlic paste (I know, it is overkill, but hey, love the ‘punch’). shall try with yoghurt as per your recipe- this is quite like a homemade chicken tikka marinade we make (ie none of that pink and orange and red food colouring stuff you find in restaurants which call a dish ‘chicken tikka’). x s

  2. The Grubworm

    @S – thanks! Harissa and garlic sauce – that would sure by punchy. But not in a bad way ;)

    I was thinking how similar it was to a tikka/tandoori marinade as I was gleefully smearing yogurt over the chicken pieces. And it is so much better when the colour comes from the harissa, turmeric or whatever vibrant spices go into the marinade.

  3. shuhan

    gosh that looks freakishly good right now what with the winds blowing outside. you have no idea how much i’ve been using my oven these days hehe. yup this really does remind me of a chicken tikka marinade too! I love how the yogurt just tenderises the chicken so you get crispy skin and really tender chicken inside (:

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