Monday, October 10, 2016

Pan-Seared Chicken with Harissa & Chick Peas

I'm just climbing out of the Thanksgiving menu haze and not surprisingly, am inspired to post a recipe somewhat unrelated.  Don't get me wrong, I love a good turkey with all the trimmings. Unfortunately, making 8 dishes doesn't leave me much time to photograph and write about them. Frankly at this point in the season, anyone reading this is likely moving on to other recipes too.

We don't eat much chicken in this house. It's not my meat of preference and when I do have a hankering for it, I crave the bits that are the least healthy. This recipe however looked like the right balance of taste and nutrition. The key here is to sear your chicken thighs well, so the skin crisps up nicely. Pan searing the chicken takes longer than most of the recipes indicate, but it's worth the extra time to enjoy that golden, crispness. In my instructions below, I doubled my time to 10 minutes each side.

In addition to the great combination of flavours, you've got a one-pan dish if you want to keep it simple. I served this with some quinoa, but the chickpeas can make it a meal of its own.

Serves 3-4


  • 8 bone-in chicken thighs
  • 1 T olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • ground pepper
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup harissa
  • 1 540 ml can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Lemon wedges for serving


Preheat oven to 425F. Season the thighs on both sides with plenty of salt and pepper. Place a cast iron pan (or other oven safe pan) on your stove top on medium-high heat. Add the olive oil to the pan. Place the chicken thighs, skin side down on the base of the pan. The chicken fat will splatter, so if you have a cover for the pan, use it. Sear the chicken for about 5-10 minutes on each side, or until the skin is brown and crispy. I cooked my chicken in two batches. Set aside the thighs on a plate and pour out all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pan. Add the garlic and onions to the pan on medium heat and stir well, allowing the onions to soften, 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and combine it well with the onion mixture. Finally, add the harissa, the chickpeas and stock and bring the mixture to a simmer. Place the chicken back in the pan, skin side up and move the pan to the oven for 25 minutes.

Serve 1-2 of the chicken thighs in a shallow bowl with some of the parsley sprinkled on top and a lemon wedge on the side. I served mine with a little quinoa as a base.