Harissa Roasted Chicken with Spinach and Peas

chicken-harissa

Harissa is one of my favorite exotic ingredients to use.  Available at most supermarkets in the form of a spicy paste or hot sauce, harissa is very popular in North African and Middle Eastern cookery.  It’s often served with couscous and pairs beautifully with beef, chicken and lamb dishes, roasted potatoes and vegetables.  Personally, I LOVE to add a dollop to my scrambled eggs!

Harissa Roasted Chicken with Spinach and Peas

Serves 2

This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled.  Just be sure to use a bigger sauté pan.  You can serve it over rice or couscous but it’s also terrific just on its own.  Not a fan of peas or spinach?  Omit them- or add something else like kale, broccoli, corn or asparagus.

Ingredients:

4 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs

salt and pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/4 cup harissa paste or sauce

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 cup fresh or frozen peas

2 heaping cups of fresh spinach (or 1 cup frozen)

1/2 cup chicken broth

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Dry chicken thighs with a paper towel and season with salt and pepper.

In a cast iron skillet or medium to large saute pan, heat pan over medium- high heat.   When hot, add olive oil.  Place chicken thighs skin side down and cook for 5 minutes until skin is nice and golden.  Turn over and cook for 2 minutes.  Remove thighs from pan and transfer to a plate.

With pan drippings still in pan, on medium heat, add onions and garlic and cook for about 3 minutes until softened.  Stir in harissa and tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.

Add peas, spinach and chicken broth and simmer until spinach is wilted- about 3 minutes.

Remove pan from heat and place chicken thighs back in the pan skin side up.  Turn thighs once or twice so that each piece is covered in the sauce.

Place pan in oven, uncovered, and cook for about 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked all the way through.

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