Harissa Grilled Chicken
Published by Page Street Publishing Co.
The first time I tasted harissa, I was blown away by the smoky depth of flavor. I knew I wanted to keep it in my refrigerator, so I started buying the store-bought version to season pretty much everything I was eating. The only problem was that a jar of harissa didn’t last very long in my kitchen; so, I turned to making my own version at home. I added a can of fire-roasted tomatoes to my recipe to add some bulk to the sauce.
The smokiness of the harissa sauce really adds a lot of flavor to chicken that is being prepared
on the grill. I love to grill harissa chicken in the summer. I’m instantly transported to memories of holidays like Memorial Day and Independence Day and large cookouts with family and friends.
- Harissa Sauce
- 2 large jarred or fresh roasted red bell peppers
- 5 cloves garlic
- 1 (15-oz [420-g]) can fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
- 2 tablespoons (16 g) smoked paprika
- 2 medium jalapeño chiles
- 1 small habanero chile
- 6 tablespoons (90 ml) olive oil
- Ground cumin, to taste
- Ground coriander, to taste
- Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
- 1 tablespoon (8 g) garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon (8 g) paprika
- 1/2 tablespoon (4 g) ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 teaspoon (8 g) salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 5 pounds (2.3 kg) chicken drumsticks
- 10 ounces (300 ml) Harissa Sauce
To make the sauce, combine the bell peppers, garlic, tomatoes, smoked paprika, jalapeños, habanero, oil, cumin, coriander and crushed red pepper flakes in a food processor. Process until the mixture is uniform. Transfer the sauce to jars and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
To make the chicken, preheat the grill to 400°F (204°C).
In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, salt and black pepper.
Place the drumsticks and spice mixture in a large resealable bag. Shake the bag, ensuring that each piece of chicken is coated with
Place the drumsticks directly on the grill and flip them every 5 to 7 minutes.
Once the drumsticks start to brown, move them to the side of the grill, away from the direct heat. When the internal temperature of the
drumsticks reaches 190°F (88°C), baste the chicken with the harissa sauce and cook for 2 to 5 minutes.
Remove the drumsticks from the grill and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.
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Reprinted with permission from Flavors of Africa by Evi Aki, Page Street Publishing Co. 2017. Photo credit: Jakob Layman