Now that the weather seems to have truly turned to Winter, warming and comforting dishes are in high demand. This recipe for Harissa Chicken by Donna Hay, fits the bill perfectly. The spiciness of the harissa warms you to your bones, while the gremolata subtly cools the kick and adds a wonderful depth of flavour to the dish.
This dish is also quite easy to make, which is always a winner when you want warmth with minimal effort.
The original recipe stipulates the use of mixed olives, but since my obsession with dried black olives remains unwavering, I used those. Either work well, just use whatever you like or can easily come by.
8 x 220g chicken thigh fillets, bone in and trimmed
8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 cup mixed or dried olives
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 tbsp harissa paste
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 cup chicken stock
sea salt and black pepper
400g truss Roma tomatoes (still on vine if possible)
Ingredients for Gremolata
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1/2 cup coriander leaves, chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp shredded lemon zest
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Place the chicken, garlic, olives, tomato paste, harissa paste, sugar and stick in a large baking dish, trying to evenly distribute the tomato and harissa pastes amongst the chicken. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover with aluminium foil and roast for 1 hour.
Whilst the chicken is in the oven, make the gremolata by combining the all the gremolata ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
After the chicken has been roasting in the oven for 1 hour, increase the temperature to 200 degrees Celsius and remove the foil. Add the tomatoes to the baking dish and cook for a further half an hour, or until the chicken is completely cooked through.
Serve with the gremolata.
Original recipe from ‘The New Classics’ by Donna Hay (Fourth Estate an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2013), p. 145.