Can I just tell you my new flavor obsession? All-natural harissa spice blend! It can take the simplest of dinners to a whole new level of tasty. This easy, flavor-packed grilled harissa chicken dinner is a family favorite. And if you’re entertaining, this harissa chicken is great served on a large sheet pan along with all sorts of grilled veggies, and a little secret sauce to add on top!
What is Harissa?
If you’re not familiar, harissa, pronounced ha-Ree-sah, originated in North Africa. Most people think of it as a hot chili paste, but what I use here is a unique all-natural spice blend of three types of chili along with sumac, caraway, fennel, cumin, coriander, garlic and a hint of ground peppermint!
Why this Grilled Harissa Chicken Works?
The idea behind this harissa chicken recipe is not to create a blindingly spicy chicken, but an exciting chicken dinner glowing with flavor and depth.
To play up harissa’s earthy tones, I combined it with more sweet paprika, coriander, and cumin to make a complex, flavor-packed rub for the humble chicken thighs. Then I add fresh garlic, lemon juice, and excellent extra virgin olive oil, to create a marinade environment for the harissa chicken. (It’s best to let it marinate for 2 hours (or overnight) in the fridge, but you can also just leave it aside for a few minutes to allow the flavors to meld before grilling.)
What to serve along?
This time, I turned my harissa chicken into an eclectic, and super do-able grilled dinner board. I added grilled lettuce, sweet onions, peaches, and a few other favorites.
If you don’t feel like grilling all the things, simply serve this harissa chicken with a Mediterranean salad like this couscous salad (works as your grain as well) or Greek salad. Also, sides like these Greek potatoes or roasted veggies will work well here.
Find Harissa Spice Blend HerePrint
A must-try Harissa Chicken Recipe! Simple spice rub + a Mediterranean citrus marinade take chicken dinner to a new level! Add grilled lettuce, onions, and peaches or see notes for salads and sides to serve instead.
For Spice Rub
- 2 tsp harissa spice blend
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 3/4 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 8 pieces boneless, skinless chicken thighs (organic, free range, if possible)
- 12 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup Private Reserve or Early Harvest extra virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 tsp harissa spice blend
- Salt and pepper
- 2 heads romaine lettuce, outer leaves removed, halved length-wise (for grilling)
- 2 sweet onions (Vidalia onions), quartered (for grilling)
- 3 peaches, halved, pits removed (for grilling)
- Quality feta cheese, cubed
- Sliced tomatoes
- Your favorite cooked grains or warm pita bread
- In a small bowl, mix the spices to make the spice rub.
- Pat chicken dry and season with kosher salt on both sides, then also season with the prepared spice mixture on both sides
- Place the seasoned chicken in a large bowl. Add minced garlic, lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil. Work with clean hands to combine. Cover tightly and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours (or overnight) to marinate. (If you don’t have the time, leave it at room temprature for 20 minutes or so to allow the flavors to meld before grilling.)
- While grill is heating, prepare sides for grilling (optional). Brush lettuce with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Do the same for the sweet onions. Brush halved peaches with extra virgin olive oil, but do not season.
- Place the chicken thighs on the grill. Cover for 5-6 minutes, then turn the chicken over and grill for another 5-6 minutes covered.
- If adding grilled sides. Grill lettuce and onions over direct heat, turning over every 1 to 2 minutes until lightly charred. Grill peaches over moderate heat (move away from direct heat) for 5 minutes on each side.
- While chicken and sides are grilling, prepare dressing. Simply add dressing ingredients to mason jar. Cover tightly and shake to combine.
- Arrange chicken, grilled veggies, feta, and sliced tomatoes on a large tray or board. Drizzle with a bit of the prepared dressing (serve remaining dressing on side for people to add as they need). Serve with your favorite grain such as rice or quinoa, or serve with warm pita bread. Enjoy!
- Note 1: Budget 2 hours or more of inactive marinating time for best results.
- Note 2: If you don’t feel like grilling all the things, simply serve this harissa chicken with a Mediterranean salad like this couscous salad (works as your grain as well) or Greek salad. Also, sides like these Greek potatoes or roasted veggies will work well here.
- Recommended for this recipe from our all-natural and organic spice collections: harissa spice blend, sweet paprika, cumin, and coriander! SAVE! Create your own 6-pack from our spice collections!
- Recommended for this recipe: Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives). SAVE! Try our Greek EVOO Bundle!
- Category: Entree
- Method: Grilling
- Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keywords: harissa chicken, grilled chicken, Mediterranean chicken