pan-roasted chicken with harissa chickpeas

January 27, 2014 § 60 Comments

This recipe comes from the January issue of Bon Appétit Magazine.  One look at the photograph and I was instantly reaching for my shopping list to add harissa paste and chickpeas.  For those who are not familiar with harissa, it is a North African hot chili blend whose main ingredients are red roasted pepper, serrano peppers and other hot chili peppers, spices and herbs such as coriander and caraway, and with the additional of oil becomes a paste.  I found a delightful jar of harissa paste at our market which included sun dried tomatoes.  Harissa is a great shortcut ingredient to flavor, but apparently no two jars are the same.  Taste first-if it seems very spicy, use a bit less.  You can always stir more into the chickpeas when the dish is finished.  You may find harissa paste available at some specialty stores or online.  Or, follow this link for a simple method to make your own.


We were completely head over heels with both the flavor and texture of this entrée.  The dish went together beautifully and you can be certain this will be in high rotation here in our house.  Served with hot naan…

I n g r e d i e n t s

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs
  • kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2-15 ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup harissa paste
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat oven to 425°F.  Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat.  Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Cook chicken until browned, about 5 minutes per side., transfer to a plate.  Pour off all but 1 tablespoon drippings from pan.  Add onion and garlic, cook, stirring often until softened, about 3 minutes.   Add tomato paste and cook, stirring until beginning to darken, about 1 minute.  Add chickpeas, harissa and broth and bring to a simmer.  Nestle chicken, skin side up, in chickpeas.  Transfer skillet to oven.  Roast until chicken is cooked through, 20-25 minutes.  Top with parsley and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing over.


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§ 60 Responses to pan-roasted chicken with harissa chickpeas

  • ohlidia says:

    I’ve got everything but the chicken, so I just might be making this for dinner. Looks wonderful and full of warmth for this Polar Vortex we’re having.

  • That was a great issue. I did a rendition of the recipe on the cover. This one looks good too and I’ve got an organic harrissa paste at my shop I need to bring home. And bone in, skin on thighs are my favorite:)

  • Rörschåch says:

    Coo-wee! Doesn’t that look like the perfect weeknight dinner? Lovely, TWC.

  • Karen says:

    This does sound like a tasty dish. I haven’t seen harissa with the sun dried tomatoes…I bet it is good. I buy harissa in a tube and use it all the time.

    • Yes, the harissa with sun dried tomatoes was very good. I hesitated for a moment before buying, but, when I really thought about it as a combination with chickpeas and chicken…I knew it would be good and it was fabulous. Thank you for visiting…man, I wish we had the snow you are having! :)

  • Great combination, of course, I always have chickpeas on hand…

  • I LOVE this dish, you can literally see how intensely tasty this dish is from the picture (and ingredient list) This is on my short list.

    • Oh good Suzanne. This was one of those dishes that I couldn’t get enough of. I had leftovers for lunch two days in a row and it was even better leftover. The squeezed lemon was really nice and we had hot naan with it. I didn’t make the naan. We have some very good naan available to us at the market, as I’m sure you do too! Let me know if you make it!

  • You make me hungry. That looks effing delicious!

  • Amanda says:

    Yes! This is my kind of recipe. And it’s gorgeous! Thank you for this. I’m putting it in the rotation this week.

  • This looks delicious. I have never cooked with harissa. I have withvhot peppers, crushed red pepper, etc. A new ingredient to try.

    • This was the first time I have cooked with harissa too. I really like it and I think you would too. I’m looking forward to experimenting with it more. This particular paste had sun dried tomatoes in it which I really liked. Hope you give it a try.

  • Saskia (1=2) says:

    YUM! This is my kind of recipe, a lovely spicy stew mopped up with naan. Looks fabulous. Your linked harissa recipe sounds great too. Have been meaning to make my own for years. Will report back if I try it!

    • This is the first time I have used harissa and I love it! After I use up this jar (which was enormously expensive) I will try to make my own. Do let me know if you make it and how it turns out. :)

  • Such a great post – the photograph – the recipe – and your introduction to it. All wonderful. I am looking forward to trying harissa paste – this is new to me and I’m always excited to try new things. ;)

    • Me too, I love trying new things. I really didn’t know what to expect with harissa and it so wonderful. I am not a big fan of saffron (that’ll raise a few eyebrows I’m sure) and so I was a bit hesitant not knowing what to expect. Delightfully surprised! Try it Lindy!

  • Jody and Ken says:

    Must be the time of the year when the heart turns to chicken. Lovely idea with the chickpeas. (They’re also good if you put them beneath the rack when you’re roasting a chicken, hehe…) Ken

    • Oh yeah. I can imagine how wonderful that would be…chickpeas beneath the rack of a roasting chicken. I may just pick up a roaster and try it. Great time of year to roast a chicken, that is for sure.

  • Ngan R. says:

    What a delicious looking pot! I’ve been on a chicken kick lately and I might just have to go get some harissa paste myself to make this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you Ngan! We have been serving quite a bit of chicken here in our house too. I’m always looking for something new and delicious to do with it and this is absolutely wonderful with the chickpeas too. Hope you get a chance to try it. Thank you for stopping in, it is always nice to hear from you.

  • Liz says:

    can see why you were head over heels! That must have been a popular issue. Thinking that was the one where I got the Sage Brown Derby. Bookmarked quite a few recipes :-) You done good here.

  • Gilly says:

    Oh wow this looks good. My better half doesn’t do spicy so much so I’ll have to turn it down a little but I’m definitely going to try this out.

    • You know, I read every batch of harissa is different as far as spice level. The batch I bought was fairly mild. I found myself adding quite a bit to bring the heat up. I thought it may be due to the sun dried tomatoes in the mix. It was truly wonderful. Thank you for stopping in! It’s nice to hear from you Gilly.

      • Gilly says:

        I’m very much enjoying your blog. Harissa wouldn’t normally have sun dried tomatoes (or any other tomatoes) it it’s list of ingredients – sounds like they’ve just taken two of my favourite condiments, mixed them together and made something delicious – but it would of course be milder than something which is basically chili!

  • trixpin says:

    It looks delicious! Really rich and flavoursome.
    I’ve never used harissa and am not big on really spicy foods so I’d tread carefully with it, but I love the combination of ingredients and imagine that replacing harissa with red pesto or something might be a nice alternative?

  • You are right, one look at this meal and I am reaching for my shopping list. Your making me hungry. Love your photos!

    • Thank you so much! :) This happens to me often, seeing a recipe and running out for the ingredients right away. Very nice of you to stop by! Do make this harissa chicken dish, if you get a chance. It is wonderful! Don’t forgot the naan!

  • Yum yum yum harissa is one of my favourite spicy flavour profiles! Can’t say no to anything with chickpeas in it, either… looks like such a flavourful recipe, especially for a cold day.

    • Hi Irina! So nice to hear from you. I’m a newbie harissa fan and it will be a regular staple in my kitchen now for sure. I need to find more recipes to use it with. Maybe you have some on your blog? :) I’m headed over to visit now.

  • I’m drooling over here. Looks fantastic! I’ve been wanting to try harissa paste for some time, but have been hesitant due to my weak tolerance for heat and it’s cost (saw a jar for $7.60 at the food co-op a couple days ago). Is the flavor smoky w/ heat?

    • :) drooling over food is always acceptable…right! I was shocked when I shopped for harissa paste! I think I did pay $7 or $8 for my jar. I only used 1/3 of the jar with this recipe so I guess it is worth it. The flavor didn’t seem too smoky. The batch I bought had sun dried tomatoes so there was a bit of tang along with the heat. It was wonderful and I would say go for it! Splurge! It’s wonderful and worth it.

  • Luffy Moogan says:

    Oh this looks amazing! Definitely going to try this.Thank you!

  • I love BA – and this recipe, Seana. A perfect meal! Have a great day… Shanna

  • sophie says:

    This is amazing! and the photography is to-die-for!
    By the way, I nominated you for a liebster award!

    • Hi Sophie! I just now found your comment buried in my comment section. Thank you so much for the liebster award nomination! :) This is very kind of you to pick me. You have a wonderful blog and I really enjoy visiting it. I heading over now to read your liebster award answers…

  • Am I really the last person to try harissa? Or have I already tasted it within certain dishes I had in Morocco. Who knows. All I do know is the food there was quite simply superb. Shame it’s such a boring place to visit.

    • It’s boring? I’m shocked. I have this vision of Morocco being so wonderfully exotic and lovely! This was the first time I have tried harissa. It’s fabulous and I know you would love it too with it’s spicy chili flavor. I bet you did have it while in Morocco. It is horrifically expensive, but think I’ll try making my own when my jar is used up.

  • laurasmess says:

    I am obsessed with harissa! It’s so delicious, I find myself just mixing it through yoghurt as an accompaniment to most meats these days. These chickpeas look gorgeous though. I definitely need to add them to my repertoire! Gorgeous dish, I could have happily devoured that entire pan! xx

    • Ok. I’m going to mix some into yogurt….tonight! I can easily become obsessed too Laura. It’s off the charts delicious! Love to see you visit today and I totally love your new avatar! I’ve been seeing it around and it’s so cute.

  • It doesn’t surprise me that I’m totally in awe of this post. What a beautiful photo…wonderful recipe…. I’m always so impressed with the recipes that you post, Seana..I always know that they’re perfectly delicious!! I’m printing the recipe as I’m typing this, and thinking I need to stop by the store on the way home. xx

    • You are too kind Prudy. Thank you. Hope you find harissa and it isn’t too expensive! If you can not find it (or refuse to pay that much for it) and are really into trying this, follow the link I included in the post to a very simple recipe and make it yourself! I am going to make it when I run out. The jar I bought was $8, but it seems a little goes a long way. :)

  • What a great looking dish! Can’t wait to try it!

  • That looks amazing!

  • I haven’t used harissa. You’re expanding my horizons! I’d really like to try this– reminds me of a chicken and garbanzo dish we’s make when we lived in Spain. Looks delicious. thanks.

  • Hmm, such a tasty and comforting dish…
    i love harissa all the way!!!

  • […] and olive oil.  My store bought harissa paste adds a delicious flavor to bland foods such as chickpeas, carrots and potatoes.   Although  I haven’t made my own harissaa yet, […]

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