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Come on baby light my fire! Harissa recipe and Harissa-marinated chicken

, Come on baby light my fire!       Harissa recipe and Harissa-marinated chicken
, Come on baby light my fire!       Harissa recipe and Harissa-marinated chicken
Harissa – the beginnings

One of these days, when you have a spare half an hour or so, please make a batch of your own Harissa. Let this firey girl in to your kitchen and she will transform any dish. You need to play around with this paste when adding to your dishes. When starting out, don’t underestimate the powers of a Harissa paste! Definitely err on the side of caution. She is a hot little number!

Harissa is a spicy Moroccan paste made from chillies. Harissa can shine on the table, as a condiment, served as part of a Moroccan banquet, it can be added to braises and tagines and it also makes a sensational marinade for meat, fish or poultry. Stir a little through your cous cous or tossed through your barbecued vegetables – trumpets may sound!


30g (approx 10-12) dried hot red chillies, seeded
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of dried mint
1 teaspoon of caraway seeds
2 teaspoons of coriander seeds
2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
4 black peppercorns
Juice of half a lemon
Olive oil

Discard the seeds from the dried chillies. Place chillies in hot water and soak to soften (approx 1 hour).  Drain the chillies and chop finely once rehydrated.
For extra flavour, dry fry the spices in a dry frying pan. Be mindful they do not burn.
Pond the garlic and salt together in a mortar & pestle (alternatively, you can use a blender) until a smooth paste forms. Place the chopped chillies in a food processor and whizz to blend. Add the toasted spices and blend. Add all the other ingredients, including the lemon juice, garlic & salt paste and blend together. Add enough olive oil to form a smooth paste & whizz to combine. Store in sterilised jars in the refrigerator – ready for action!

Harissa-marinated chicken
Serves 4
Marinating the meat in the harissa and yoghurt will give you beautiful tender, moist and flavoursome pieces of chicken!

8 free-range boneless chicken thighs
4-5 teaspoons of harissa paste
2 generous tablespoons of Greek yoghurt

Combine the harissa paste and yoghurt in a plastic zip lock bag (these are super for marinating), zip up and massage the marinade in to the meat. Refrigerate for a minimum of an hour but really, the longer the better!

Preheat the oven to 220oC. Place the marinated chicken on a baking tray, lined with baking paper, leaving a little room between each. Cook at 220oC for the first 5 minutes and them immediately turn the oven down to 180oC. Continue cooking for 12 minutes. Now place the chicken under a hot griller, on the barbecue or in a hot frying pan for the last 3 minutes of cooking. This will crisp it up, give it a lovely colour and finish cooking it through.

I love to serve this with a wonderfully refreshing rocket and orange salad.

Happy cooking! Enjoy!

If you make this dish & it ‘wows’ you or you are already ‘head over heals’ in love with Harissa, feel free to post your comments. We’d love to hear from you!


2 thoughts on “Come on baby light my fire! Harissa recipe and Harissa-marinated chicken”

  1. Looks good, I would love to give it a try. Do you have the salad recipe? Also, we are all in love with your beautiful beetroot relish! Is that recipe up for sale also?? Thanks, xx

    1. So lovely to hear you are loving our Relish – Thank you! Now for the sad part – given it is one of our product lines and how dear it is to me and the business, this recipe stays close to my heart & so not posted / published.

      Easy salad recipe – here it is. Delicious also with fennel and orange which is how we serve it often in a cooking class however, same method & replace the fennel for freshly washed & spun rocket! Gorgeous. I hope you enjoy!xx

      Serves 4 as a side dish

      Remove the stems from1 large or 3 small baby fennel and reserve the fronds. Cut the bulbs in
      half and slice very fine with a sharp knife or mandolin. You can leave the fennel in a water bath
      with a squeeze of lemon if you are doing a little ahead of time to ensure the fennel doesn’t
      brown. Peel 1orange, using a sharp knife and ensure you also remove the bitter white pith and
      are just left with the flesh. Reserve any juices. Cut the orange into segments.
      Place the fennel in a large bowl and toss with the orange segments.
      Make a dressing of 4-5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil as well as 1 teaspoon of Dijon
      mustard and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice (you actually wont need the 2 parts oil to 1 part
      acid rule here as you also have the gorgeous juice from the oranges to help balance the
      salad). Dress the salad, toss your salad well and season with sea salt and pepper.

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