Flavorful Feast

Flavorful Feast

Baked Harissa Chicken Thighs with Chickpeas | Serves 4–6

Harissa is a smoky, intensely savory chili paste with a gentle heat level and lots of earthy spice flavors—it’s one of my all-time favorite condiments. Think of it as an ingredient that adds a magical layer of flavor. In this recipe, harissa plays a starring role as an element in both the sauce and the seasoning. This chicken supper is one of those meals that almost makes itself: Just mix everything in a baking dish, pop it into the oven and wait for seriously good aromas to waft through your kitchen. 

2 plump shallots or 1⁄2 red onion, sliced into 1⁄2-inch wedges 

1 (15-oz) can chickpeas, drained 

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs 

21⁄2 tsp kosher salt, divided 

1 pint cherry tomatoes 

2 tbsp harissa paste (I like Les Moulins Mahjoub) 

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice 

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 

2 cloves garlic, grated on a microplane or finely chopped 

2 tsp ground cumin

2 tsp ground coriander 

1⁄2 cup fresh cilantro leaves

Preheat the oven to 450°F.  Spread the shallot slices and chickpeas evenly across the bottom of a 13 x 9 x 2–inch baking dish. 

Season the chicken with 2 teaspoons of the salt and arrange it on top of the shallot mixture. Distribute the tomatoes over the chicken, tucking them in here and there. 

Stir together the harissa, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, cumin, coriander and the remaining 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt in a small bowl. Spoon the harissa mixture evenly over the chicken and turn the pieces to coat both sides. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the tomatoes are burst and juicy. 

Sprinkle the cilantro over the dish and serve it. 

For A Family-Style FeastServe this with some cooked rice or couscous, because you don’t want to miss the juicy pan sauce.

Reprinted with permission from Family Style by Karen Tedesco, Page Street Publishing Co. 2020. Photo credit: Karen Tedesco

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