Harissa Chicken Thighs with Couscous

These harissa chicken thighs have got the most wonderful almost caramel ‘lacquer’ from the combination of butter, honey and of course harissa paste!

Close up portrait image of glazed harissa chicken thighs served on couscous

Harissa Chicken Thighs with Couscous.

I’ve played around a lot with North African flavours here on Krumpli and I really love them. These Harissa chicken thighs get the most incredible lacquer from the combination of fiery Harissa paste, honey and butter…

That blend gives the chicken thighs an almost toffee-like chewy finish as the honey caramelises. 

So many things to like about that and when that is roasted you get the most incredible a to the skin of the thighs as the honey caramelises.

Not to mention what that does to the onions that they get roasted with, I could easily slap them on some toast and eat them alone.

But I don’t I make good use of them to amp up the couscous.

I’ve heard some call couscous boring, I have no idea why sure it does not have much flavour of its own.

It is, however, the perfect vehicle to carry other flavours!

Bearing that in mind make sure your stock is as good as you can lay your hands on.

Glazed harissa chicken thighs on a bed of couscous served on a blue plate taken from above

The Harissa Glaze.

The glaze on these Harissa chicken thighs is relatively similar to the one on my harissa pork chops.

However, in this recipe, I have added a little sweetness.

This works wonderfully with the sourness from the fresh pomegranate in the couscous.

I also have to confess to having a huge weakness for the mix of a little sweetness alongside savoury food.

You will find that in one way or another in many of my recipes and particularly those using harissa. 

For instance, my harissa roasted carrot soup relies on the sweetness of roasted carrots. Even my harissa salmon recipe gets an injection of sweetness from oranges.

Landscape image of glazed harissa chicken thighs on a bed of couscous served on a blue plate

Dried Mint!

The glaze in this recipe uses dried mint and it is somewhat of a niche ‘ingredient’.

It is not particularly difficult to find but not the most common ingredient to see in recipes.

It has a very different flavour to fresh mint and is a common ingredient in many South Mediterranean, North African and Persian recipes.

As an example, it gets used as a background flavour in my lamb kofta.

It has a very distinct and as odd as it may sound not very ‘minty’ taste. Fresh mint is very vibrant and bright, whereas dried mint is much more earthy in flavour.

As a result, they really are not interchangeable, but you really should hunt some down and try something a little new.

Square close up image of glazed harissa chicken thighs on a bed of couscous served on a blue plate
Harissa Chicken Thighs with Couscous

Harissa Chicken Thighs with Couscous

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
These harissa chicken thighs have got the most wonderful almost caramel 'lacquer' from the combination of butter, honey and of course harissa paste!

Ingredients

For the Harissa Chicken Thighs

  • 4 Chicken Thighs
  • 150 g Onion
  • 2 Tbsp Honey
  • 2 Tbsp Harissa Paste
  • 1 Stick Cinnamon
  • 35 g Butter
  • 1 Tsp Dried Mint

For the Couscous:

  • 125 g Couscous
  • 200 ml Chicken Stock
  • 10 g Fresh Parsley
  • 50 g Celery
  • 1/2 Pomegranate
  • 25 g Pine Nuts

Instructions

  1. Peel and cut the onions into 8 wedges.
  2. Finely dice the celery, chop the parsley and free the seeds from the pomegranate.
  3. Place the chicken in a large flat pan that can go into the oven and generously season with salt.
  4. Add the onion wedges and cinnamon to the pan with the chicken.
  5. Heat the honey in a small pan with the butter, harissa paste and dried mint and when melted and combined pour over the chicken thighs.
  6. Transfer to the oven and bake at 200°C or 400°F for 40-45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
  7. 10 minutes before your chicken is cooked add the celery to the couscous and then pour over the boiling chicken stock, add a tight fitting lid and allow to sit for 10 minutes.
  8. Whilst your couscous is steaming use the time to toast your pine nuts and remove the seeds from the pomegranate.
  9. When you are ready to serve for through the couscous and stir in the parsley, pomegranate and pine nuts.
  10. Finally add a few tablespoons of the liquid from chicken cooking pan along with the by now sticky onions and serve.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 1083 Total Fat: 65g Saturated Fat: 21g Trans Fat: 1g Unsaturated Fat: 39g Cholesterol: 373mg Sodium: 973mg Carbohydrates: 64g Fiber: 8g Sugar: 33g Protein: 71g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

Readers Comments

12 thoughts on “Harissa Chicken Thighs with Couscous”

  1. Wow, that burnished chicken looks so amazing! I will be adding harissa to my shopping list. This is something I really have to make! Thanks for sharing!

    • You are welcome Marcellina, have fun, mixing harissa with honey gives the most amazing colour and flavour, throw in a little butter and it is all over bar the shouting 😀

  2. That chicken is seared to perfection! Loving the flavors and pom seeds in the cous cous are a colorful and tasty touch!

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