While I was looking at the recipe for curried pumpkin the other day I noticed that the episode it was from had also featured Grilled Harissa Chicken. I took a look at it and decided that although I wasn't grilling, that I would make it for some boneless skinless chicken breasts I had planned to have with the pumpkin curry.
There are tons of recipes for harissa, which is basically a Tunisian hot sauce, but again, this one looked easy and I had everything on hand.
Can i just say? ABSOLUTELY wonderful.
It didn't come out super spicy with the dried red peppers I had on hand, I will up it when I make them again. I just marinated the chicken for an hour or two in the sauce and then put them on a baking sheet and cooked them for 25 minutes for 425 degrees. They were pretty big pieces so they came out perfect at that time and temperature. I bet it would be fabulous on the grill as well. We served it with the pumpkin curry and some chickpeas. It really needed some green on the plate…next time…but it was great!
Harissa Marinated Grilled Chicken
by Anne Burrell/Secrets of a Restaurant Chef/Food Network
2 red bell peppers
1 tablespoon cumin seed
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
4 red dried chiles, seeds left inside
3 garlic cloves, smashed and finely chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 chicken, cut into 8 pieces, or 8 chicken thighs and/or
Put the red peppers on the grill and char them until they
are black on all sides. Put the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
When cool enough to handle, scrape the charred black skin off the peppers and
remove the stem and seeds. Coarsely chop and reserve. This can totally be done
Put the cumin, coriander, fennel and caraway in a dry saute
pan and toast them until they become very aromatic. Grind all the spices into a
coarse powder in a spice grinder.
Coarsely chop the dried chiles, toss them into the bowl of a
food processor and pulse to pulverize. Add the toasted ground spices, the
roasted red peppers, chopped garlic and tomato paste. Puree until the mixture
is smooth. Add 1/4 cup of the olive oil and pulse to combine. Add in another
1/4 cup of olive oil and pulse again. Season with salt, to taste, if needed.
Store in an airtight container.
Toss the chicken parts liberally with the harissa and let
sit at room temperature up to 2 hours, or overnight or even a few days in the
Preheat the grill to medium.
Put the chicken on the grill and grill for 8 to 10 minutes
on each side. You may have to move the chicken around, or flip it over a couple
of times to prevent burning. You may also want to brush it a couple times with
the leftover harissa, just remember it is pretty spicy! Remove the chicken from
the grill and let it rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Cook's Tip: Make a big batch of this and it can live in the
refrigerator for a long time and can be used for lots of different stuff.
I will definitely make this again….maybe play around with
it—some smoked paprika might add a nice bite to it as well….
And of course it made me think of Slim Gaillard and his
classic Yep Rock Heresey although reportedly he's referring to a semolina
dessert and not this harissa. Any reason to listen to this is a good one however!