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Easy Harissa Chicken

What is harissa?

Harissa is a spicy paste originating from North Africa. It contains a mix of red pepper, tomato, chilli, salt, lemon zest, paprika, garlic, cumin, coriander, caraway seed, rose and oil. Strong flavours that work really well together in Moroccan and Middle Eastern inspired dishes.

You can of course make your own paste, but for the simplicity of this chicken recipe, I’m going for a ready-made store-bought version.

This recipe came about as I was preparing to make another one….Nom Nom Paleo had a delicious looking Umami Chicken recipe I found on Instagram and I was starting to gather ingredients, but decided I really didn’t fancy mushrooms. I’ve come a long way with mushrooms and as much as I no longer hate them, and have started to use them in cooking, the flavour isn’t generally something I would choose to include as the focus of my meal…. So what to replace it with? I considered a few options, and decided that harissa would work really well, so I gave it a shot, and it turned out really well, if I say so myself!

Harissa Chicken


  •  4 chicken thighs
  •  ½ cup plain yoghurt (I used dairy free Coyo yogurt)
  •  Juice of ½ lemon
  •  2-3 tsp harissa paste (depending on how spicy you want it)

To make:

  •  Mix the yoghurt, lemon juice and harissa paste together in a shallow bowl.
  •  Dip the chicken in and coat thoroughly.
  •  Cover and refrigerate for 30 mins to a couple of hours.
  •  Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan assisted).
  •  Set up a rack over a baking tray.
  •  Remove the chicken from the fridge, shake of any excess yoghurt and lay the chicken on the rack, spacing them out evenly.

  •  Bake the chicken in the oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through

Depending on chicken size and protein needs, serve 1-2 thighs per person.

Serve hot with roasted cauliflower (flavoured with cumin), steamed green peas and spring greens or chard. If you want to add some additional carbohydrate, serve with some steamed new potatoes.

Serve leftovers cold with a leafy green salad.

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