Home Appétit’s Lee Wallach shares a family-favorite recipe for harissa chicken with roasted chickpeas and sweet potatoes.
“We use harissa in the kitchen a lot, and I like to cook with it at home too. It’s a spice paste made from peppers that’s originally from Tunisia but is also used as hot sauce in Israel and throughout the Middle East. My mom is Israeli, and I remember having it on our trips to visit family there. I reach for it often because it’s so versatile—it’s a great pantry staple. You can put it on meat, fish, in dressings or dips. It’s also great year-round: You can use it to braise chickpeas in the winter and on fish on the grill in the summer. It’s light but adds depth. Use as much as you want depending on how spicy you like things. We make our own in the kitchen, but there are a lot of good store-bought options. My favorite is from Cava, which you can find at Whole Foods.”
3 tsp. chopped parsley
3 tsp. chopped mint, plus more for garnish
1 ½ Tbsp. harissa paste
1 ½ tsp. honey
¼ cup olive oil or oil blend, plus more for roasting veggies
4 skin-on, bone-in chicken breasts
1 ½ cups canned chickpeas, drained
¾ cup sliced red onion
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. paprika
2 medium sweet potatoes, large diced
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
½ cup diced olives (preferably
Castelvetrano, but any green will do.)
1. To make the marinade, combine parsley, 3 tsp. of mint, harissa, the juice and zest from half a lemon, honey and oil in a glass dish or large Ziplock bag. Remove a few tablespoons of the mixture and set aside. Add chicken, cover and marinate for 1 to 3 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Remove chicken from marinade and season with salt and pepper. Grill or roast the chicken until cooked through and crispy on top, 20 to 25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 F. Baste chicken with the marinade that was set aside halfway through the cooking.
3. While the chicken is cooking, toss chickpeas, red onion, garlic powder and paprika with 1 to 2 Tbsp. oil, transfer to a sheet pan and roast 15 to 20 minutes. Toss sweet potatoes with 1 Tbsp. oil, transfer to a sheet pan and roast 20 minutes or until soft.
4. Combine cooked sweet potatoes and chickpeas. Serve with chicken. Garnish with feta, olives and mint.