This Harissa roasted chicken recipe uses a spicy aromatic paste known as Harissa from the north-western African region known as the Maghreb. The Maghreb region stretches from Mauritania and Morocco in the west to Libya.
Harissa is typically made from roasted peppers, a Tunisian chilli known as Baklouti pepper, herbs and spices. These herbs and spices tend to include garlic, cumin, coriander, and caraway seeds blended with olive to absorb the flavour of the spices. Harissa is used to glaze meats, flavour stews and tagines, season couscous, and as a dip.
The word Harissa has roots in the Arabic language with “Harasa” meaning to “break into pieces.” This phrasing refers to the idea of pounding the chillis when making the paste.
Rose harissa is Harissa paste as described above but infused with fried rose petals or rosewater. Rose gives the pasta a greater depth of flavour with a fruit-like sweetness that works well with the spicy chilli. It’s important to note that while rose and harissa may appear synonymous with each other, not all harissa is rose harissa. While you can use any harissa paste you want, I designed this Harissa roasted chicken recipe using rose harissa. Most UK supermarkets stock Rose Harissa Paste.
Rose Petals for Harissa Roasted Chicken
All rose petals are edible despite some carrying the label. They are most often dried to preserve their taste and colour. They are often used to make herbal teas. However, they can also be used in both sweet and savoury cooking, most notably in the cuisines of the middle east, and the Maghreb. Their flavour is floral with a light sweetness, but they also look beautiful, adding a lovely pink finish to the dish which will impress everyone at the dinner table.
Harissa Roasted Chicken
- 8 Chicken Thighs Bone in, Skin on
- 2 Tbsp Rose Harissa Paste
- 1 Tbsp Honey
- Juice from Lime and Zest
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 Garlic Cloves Chopped
- 1 Tbsp Paprika
- Salt / Pepper to taste
- 1 Tbsp Fresh Parsley to finish
- 1 Tsp Rose Petalsl to finish
- Preheat the oven to 190C or 170C Fan 0r 375F or Gas 5
- Mix the harissa paste, honey, lime juice and zest, olive oil, garlic, and garlic together. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the chicken and mix well, ensuring the chicken is evenly covered. Set aside to marinate for at least 20 minutes.
- Lay the chicken skin side up on a baking tray, and roast in the centre of the preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through, and the skin begins to brown.
- Remove the chicken from the cooking liqour, and pat dry. Serve garnished with parsley, rose petals, and a spoonful of the reserved cooking liquor.