Harissa Chicken Legs with Chickpeas and Tomatoes

Recently, my husband and I started a tradition of picking an ingredient we were interested in and coming up with or finding a recipe to try out for one another. For our Saturday night dinner date a couple weeks ago, he cooked me Chicken Florentine using sun-dried tomatoes he found at the grocery store earlier in the week. On Sunday, I came up with some recipes using harissa paste. It’s an ingredient I have been anxious to try out for some time and thought this was the perfect time to make its debut in our kitchen. This tradition was such a success that we are both looking forward to the next weekend we do this again. It’s a nice way to spruce up date night and try out new recipes all at the same time.

So, how did I go about picking harissa as my ingredient? Maybe you have never heard of it or tried it yourself. I hadn’t until my dirty thirty birthday dinner in December when we were served seared ahi tuna with a harissa aioli. I took note adding it to my list of ingredients I wanted to try using myself. Seems harissa is a versatile ingredient with some North African roots. The aioli added the perfect spicy note and I could only imagine what it would do for other ingredients. Not only did I try them out on these chicken legs but I also brushed a marinade concoction onto some carrots and onions and then roasted the flavor into them (recipe to come!). But I am already imagining a number of other recipes that could be heated up a little if I added some harissa paste.

Harissa Chicken Legs with Chickpeas and Tomatoes

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons harissa paste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juices
  • 2 teaspoon honey
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) chickpeas
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • Lemon wedges

Instructions:

  • Pre-heat oven to 425º.
  • In a small bowl, mix together garlic, harissa paste, lemon juice, honey, and spices. Transfer to a large bag and add chicken legs. Marinate chicken for at least 30 minutes.
  • Heat olive oil in cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken skin side down. Cook for 5 minutes. While cooking, brush with more marinade. Then, flip and cook for another 5 minutes on the other side, brushing with more marinade.
  • Transfer cast iron to oven and cook for 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, onions, chickpeas, and lemon wedges to the pan and cook for another 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.

A Hint of Ginger | Pairing Tips: I paired these chicken legs with my moroccan-spiced couscous.