Tunisian Harissa Chicken

tunisian harissa chicken

Tunisian Harissa Chicken

Tunisian Harissa Chicken

Tunisian Harissa Chicken is a dish not unlike you would find in Tunisia, Morocco or other North African cuisines. Harissa, known as the National Condiment of Tunisia, is made from hot chile peppers, coriander, cumin, caraway and other spices. It is usually used in paste form, which is hard to find in markets, which is why keeping some Harissa powder is convenient. When you need it as a paste, just add some water or oil until you get the right consistency.

You find chicken in many North African recipes, but you can also make this as a Vegetarian or Vegan recipe by substituting extra firm tofu for the chicken cubes and a vegan yogurt.

The simplicity of this recipe makes it an easy entree for entertaining. The chicken can be cut up and marinated while you’re entertaining. 2 to 6 hours later you’re ready to cook. Basmati or Jasmine rice adds an extra flavor layer to the dish. Green olives and parsley are used in many Tunisian and Moroccan dishes, while the yogurt offsets the heat of the chile pepper. The overall mixture of flavor makes it a favorite of ours, and might become one of yours.

Servings: 6

Ingredients:
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, Cut into 1 to 1 ½ Inch Cubes
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
⅛ Cup Water
4 Garlic Cloves – Minced
2 Tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
2 Tablespoons Harissa Powder
4 Tablespoons Water (To Make Harissa Paste)
2 Tablespoons Hungarian Paprika
2 Tablespoons Dried Rosemary
1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
Green Olives, Sliced
Parsley, Finely Chopped
Plain Greek Yogurt

For the Roasted Vegetables:
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Yellow Pepper, cut into 1″ pieces
1 Red Pepper, cut into 1″ pieces
1 Red Onion, cut into 1″ pieces
1 Teaspoon Hungarian Paprika
1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
1 Teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper

Precooked Basmati or Jasmine rice for serving.

Directions:
To make the marinade, in a small mixing bowl, combine the Harissa Powder and the 4 Tablespoons water. Mix into a smooth paste. Add the olive oil, the additional water, lemon juice, garlic, paprika, rosemary, salt and pepper. Combine well. This also makes the sauce. Pour into a reclosable bag, using a spatula to get it all from the bowl. Add the chicken and coat well. Refrigerate for 2 to 6 hours to allow the flavors to develop.

For the roasted vegetables, in a medium mixing bowl, combine the olive oil, paprika, salt and pepper. Add the peppers and onions. Coat well. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes, but don’t let burn.

While the onions and peppers are roasting, put the chicken along with the marinade into a medium sauce pan. Cover and cook about 8-10 minutes over medium heat until chicken is fully cooked and the internal temperature is 165 degrees. There should be some sauce with the chicken.

To serve, spoon some of the Basmati or Jasmine rice on the plate. Add some of the roasted onions and peppers on the rice. Add some of the Harissa Chicken and sauce to the rice and vegetables. Garnish with the sliced green olives and parsley. Add a dollop of the yogurt and you’re all set. Enjoy!

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