Harissa Chicken Thighs with Shallots

by Susan Hanna

This recipe from the New York Times uses harissa paste, a North African paste made from roasted peppers and ingredients such as garlic, caraway, coriander and cumin. It adds wonderful flavour and colour. In this recipe, brown the chicken thighs and set aside. Then cook shallots and garlic, stir in harissa and cinnamon, return the chicken to the pan, add stock and simmer until the chicken is done. Serve with the sauce and garnish with cilantro, scallions and lime wedges.

Serves 4

Avoiding Additives and Preservatives

I used additive-free Belazu Rose Harissa paste, which is available from Well.ca or Jacobsons Gourmet Concepts at 141 Beechwood Avenue in Ottawa. I used Imagine Organic brand chicken stock. Check the cinnamon to make sure it doesn’t contain colour or anti-caking agents. For more recipes using all-natural ingredients, visit Eye For a Recipe.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ pounds (680 g) bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) grapeseed or canola oil
  • 4 to 5 small shallots, ends trimmed, quartered, root to stem, and peeled
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) harissa paste
  • ½ teaspoon (2.5 ml) ground cinnamon
  • 1 to 1 ½ cups (250 to 375 ml) chicken stock, plus more as needed
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) roughly chopped cilantro, leaves and tender stems
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges, for serving
  •  Flaky salt, for serving (optional)

Preparation:

  1. Season chicken thighs well with salt and pepper. In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken thighs skin-side down and cook undisturbed until nicely browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. Flip and brown the other side, about 4 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  2. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of fat from the pan and return to medium-low heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until they begin to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds more.
  3. Stir in harissa and cinnamon, and add back in the chicken and any residual juices. Pour in enough of the stock to come up to the chicken about halfway, and bring to a simmer. Partly cover and allow the chicken to finish cooking through, about 15 minutes more.
  4. Toss the chicken in the sauce until it’s nicely coated. Plate and top with the cilantro and the scallions. Serve, spooning braising liquid on top and with lime wedges on the side. Finish with flaky salt, if desired. 

From the New York Times