Harissa Baked Chicken Thighs
In the past year my diet has completely changed after my husband became a pescatarian. We mostly eat plant-based foods, but also enjoy some fish once or twice a week. I must admit that I rarely eat chicken nowadays, but I still crave it, so when I do indulge, it better be pretty darn amazing!
Lately I have been on a Moroccan food kick! I absolutely love the flavor combinations which reminds me of home. When I developed this recipe I wanted to create a dish that packs all of the layers of flavor and also be super easy and quick to make.
Baking chicken is one of my favorite ways to make delicious juicy chicken. The first step is to marinate the thighs (or any other favorite cut) for at least 2 hours or overnight so they suck up all the flavors. Then I line a baking dish with sliced onions and veggies, place the chicken on top, pour in the marinade, cover with foil and in the oven it goes. The trick is to let it steam for the first 30 minutes, then remove the foil and let it brown as the sauce reduces and thickens. The result is perfectly cooked, flavorful, juicy chicken that is guaranteed to be a hit!
The key ingredient here is good quality Harissa - the quintessential spicy, tangy Moroccan condiment made with red hot chili peppers.
2 lbs bone-in chicken thighs (pat dry)
3 tbs honey
2 tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, grated
1 tsp cumin
1tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon zest
1/2 lemon, juiced
6 mint leaves, chiffonade + more for garnish
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 sweet potato cut into wedges
1 red onion sliced into strips
Mix the harissa, honey, oil, lemon juice, zest, and spices in a bowl large enough to hold the chicken. Add the chicken, making sure all sides are fully coated in the marinade. Cover and let marinade for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Arrange the onion at the bottom of a baking dish or cast iron pan. Place the sweet potato wedges over, then the cinnamon stick and finally the chicken thighs, skin side up. Pour the marinade over the chicken and cover with tin foil.
Bake at 400F for 30 minutes, then remove foil and continue baking uncovered for another 30 minutes until the skin is dark and crispy.
Garnish with mint leaves and charred lemon and serve.