Harissa Roasted Chicken

Written by chanie on October 22nd, 2014

For the longest time, spicy foods didn’t interest me. I grew up eating so much of the sweet stuff, I thought chicken was best loaded with sugary sauce. My bubby always doused her dishes in sugar, the more the better, and my mother did the same. Fish, chicken, salad, pasta, potatoes – everything was prepared sweet.

When I first got married, I followed suit, prepping my dishes with the holy trinity of spices: salt, pepper, and sugar! Lots of sweet BBQ sauces, sticky duck sauce and natural sweeteners like honey and maple syrup. Sometimes I paired them with mustard for a little kick, but hot peppers never made it into my kitchen, and spicy was off the map.

My husband grew up similarly, even though he has sephardic roots. My South American mother in law loaded her keftes (meatballs) with sugar, and her Syrian mechshie was almost always sweet too. Sweet beet and carrot salads were often on the menu as well, always with added sugar.

But then I became a foodie. It evolved slowly – starting with simple family recipes on my blog, my interest in food evolved into passion and curiosity for different flavors and International cuisine. Slowly but surely, I broadened my culinary horizons by exploring the many flavors and textures of different foods. My husband was not as quick to embrace my food journey, but he eventually came around and started to appreciate flavors that he didn’t grow up eating.

I’ve grown (quite literally) to love spicy foods like Pad Thai, curries and salsas, and ingredients like harissa, sriracha and chili peppers are mainstays in my kitchen. I now save the sweets for the desserts, and do my best to keep my dishes savory, or at least to add an element of spice, to keep the flavors balanced.

One of the best parts about eating spicy and savory foods like this harissa roasted chicken, is that it’s lighter on the waistline but doesn’t compromise on flavor. Zoodles (zucchini noodles) make this dish Paleo and Whole30 compliant, so if you’ve joined the popular diet trend (which I wrote an ebook on!), this makes for a delicious and filling dinner, and you can save leftovers for lunch the next day. You gotta love that!

Other spicy recipes:

spicy tuna melt twice baked potatoes
quinoa pad thai
spicy roasted edamame
kani salad
cauliflower nachos with harissa cheddar sauce

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16 Comments so far ↓

  1. I’m the opposite- I can’t eat any food that isn’t spicy! Blame Texas!

  2. naomi rosenman says:

    where can I find harissa? I live out of town-is there a way I can order online?

    • chanie says:

      It’s possible you might find it in a large supermarket. Look near the hummus in the fridge section or in the aisle with International food products.

  3. naomi rosenman says:

    thanks, I’ll look.

  4. This sounds like the perfect dish, and a great way to use up some zoodles and harrisa I have in my fridge. I love the final plated picture , it is so delicious looking.

  5. This looks amazing! Pinning for later.

  6. Esther says:

    Where can I buy Harissa in Brooklyn?

    • chanie says:

      Hi Esther, I’m not sure where you live but most large supermarkets carry it. There is one made by Pereg in the refrigerated section near the hummus and Shiloh’s makes one that’s should be near the condiments like pesto and sundried tomatoes.

  7. Esther says:

    Thank you
    Made it. It was delicious!

  8. This looks so perfect for now – warm with heat and temperature!

  9. sharon says:

    What kind of pot do I use. Can I roast it in a baking pan. Salute on the stove with a salute pan and transfer into a roasting pan? I don’t think my all clad sauce pan should go in oven.

  10. Billy says:

    This looks so good! Harissa is such an interesting flavor to add to a dish. I’ve been looking for more recipes that include Harissa. Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait to make it at home.

  11. Aliza Lichtman says:

    This was delicious!! Thank you for a great recipe! I roasted baby potatoes with seasoning and harissa instead of using zoodles and pasta and we really enjoyed .

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