HARISSA CHICKEN THIGHS
This is a super easy recipe and so delish. Harissa
paste is where most of the flavor comes from, but
using juicy tomatoes really helps the saucy cause.
Harissa is a North African hot chili pepper paste,
the main ingredients are roasted red peppers,
some spicier peppers like serrano, spices and
herbs including garlic, caraway seeds, coriander
seeds, cumin and olive oil. Some variations add
rose petals. All smashed together these ingredients
make an amazing go to paste to have in your
refrigerator. Great for rainy days when you can
have the oven cranked and let it do the heavy
work. Pete's Meats has excellent quality chicken
which was used for this recipe. Thanks Pete!
Chicken thighs, two per person. I use bone in as it gives more flavour, but if you want use boneless. I prefer skin on as it gets beautifully crispy = yummy
A couple of tbs. olive oil
2 tomatoes roughly chopped, organic romas work well, but any juicy ones do too
1 red onion cut into larger chunks, white works if you don't have red, or anything else in the onion family for that matter, including leeks or shallots. Just make sure they are a chunky cut
1 zucchini chopped into one inch pieces, green or yellow or both a patty pan would be great too if in season
2 celery stalks chopped into one inch pieces
2 heaping tbs. Harissa paste for every 4 thighs + a half tsp more for each. You can increase the paste amount if you want extra heat, you can also sprinkle red chilies on top if you want extra extra heat.
Preheat the oven to 385
Splash a couple of tablespoons of olive oil into a baking dish. I prefer a heat proof glass, Pyrex or ceramic.
Toss the cut up veggies into the dish and coat with the olive oil, then add the Harissa paste and toss the whole mixture together until coated nicely. Season the vegetable mixture with salt.
Add the chicken thighs to the mixture and work it all together with a couple of spoons til the thighs are lightly coated. Turn the chicken skin side up and add an extra half teaspoon of paste to the skin. Add one final salt sprinkled from a height to the entire mixture.
Place the dish in the oven and set your timer for an hour. It will start to drive you crazy with how good it smells in 30 minutes, but the veggies take time to break down and make the all important juicy sauce. You can check on it after 45 minutes, but that's when I put the potatoes on to boil and prep a green veg like asparagus or green beans.
After an hour remove the dish from the oven and serve hot with what ever sides you like. Mashed potato or rice pilaf are good choices. A glass of white wine wouldn't go astray here either :)
You can make Harissa from scratch, but when there are good ones in the grocery
store with no additives, save yourself the time. Buy a good one and stick it in your refrigerator.