Harissa is the new sriracha. I’m using this Tunisian chili paste in everything because it instantly amps flavor and adds smoky, spicy goodness. Fair warning: it’s not the easiest ingredient to come by. I stock up at Trader Joes, or order here from Amazon, and then am 2 Prime days away from this one-pan Crispy Harissa Chicken Thighs with Chickpeas.
This recipe is a weeknight staple in our house. Inspired by this Bon Appetit fan favorite recipe, I’ve made a few tweaks that really make this other-level.
Namely, I’ve added a quick harissa marinade to the otherwise plain chicken thighs to add some spice and juiciness. I’ve also doubled-down on the best part of this recipe – the chickpeas – by adding sweet potatoes and increasing the sauciness. The chickpeas could stand on their own as a vegetarian main dish or side dish, and get better over time as the flavors come together.
Word to the wise: the spice level of each jar or tube of harissa varies greatly. If this dish comes out too spicy, serve with lemon juice, tahini or a yogurt sauce. If it’s too mild, you can always add more at the end of cooking.
One-Pan Crispy Harissa Chicken Thighs with Chickpeas
Perfectly crispy, juicy roast chicken thighs with spicy, zesty harissa roast chickpeas and sweet potatoes. This easy, flavorful one-pan dish is great for a weeknight dinner, but even better as leftovers after the flavors meld. Adapted from Bon Appetit's Pan-Roasted Chicken with Harissa Chickpeas.
- 4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup harissa, plus 1 tsp for chicken marinade Every jar or tube of harissa is spiced differently. Taste before using to determine if you want to add more or less. You can always use less, and add more after cooking if you want to increase the spice level.
- 1 and 1/2 lemon, halved and juiced
- 1 onion, sliced
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 sweet potatoes, cubed
- 2 cans (15 oz each) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1-1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 tbsp olive oil, for searing
- cilantro or parsley for garnish
- lemon wedges (from remaining half of lemon)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Pat chicken dry. Season generously with salt and pepper on both sides.
Make a quick marinade by combining 1 tsp harissa with the juice from 1/2 a lemon. As all harissa has a different spice level, taste and adjust.
Peel back the chicken skin, being careful not to mangle it, and apply the marinade directly to both sides of the chicken. Put the chicken skin back in place, over the marinade. The goal is to have crispy skin, with juicy and flavorful chicken.
Let marinade while the rest of the ingredients are prepared.
Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet or ovenproof pan over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken until browned on both sides, about 5 minutes per side. The skin should be nice and crispy.
Transfer chicken to a plate.
Add onion to the pan with the chicken drippings, and stir for a few minutes to soften the onion. Once slightly softened, add the tomato paste and stir to cover the onions, about 1 minute.
Add chickpeas, sweet potatoes, harissa, remaining lemon juice, and broth. Stir to combine, and add a bit more broth if the mixture does not seem saucy. Bring the broth to a simmer.
Put the veggie mixture in the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, add the chicken to the top, and bake for an additional 25 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked through and veggies are soft.
Serve with cilantro or parsley and lemon wedges.
Harissa is a Tunisian chili paste. It can be found in some markets (Trader Joes carries it) or online at Amazon. Each jar or tube has a different spice level, so taste and adjust the recipe accordingly.