Harissa chicken. I am obsessed with these kind of one dish meals as of late. They are just so easy to throw together and make for a great weeknight meal but they are also lavish and delicious enough to be considered for a special weekend meal. This harissa chicken is made extra creamy with the addition of coconut milk and my own homemade version of harissa, you can find the recipe here. It is a little extra amount of work to make your own harissa but totally worth it in my opinion. Plus you can make the recipe more your own, playing with the hotness factor and even changing up the spices you add into the mix.
Once you have the harissa made it is literally a quest of throwing everything into one pot and letting it simmer. I made this meal for one of Paul and I's at home date nights a couple of weeks ago and he loved it. We sat out on our deck with candles, a bottle of wine and the stars above us; eating, drinking and playing one of our favourite board games Sequence. (side note its a really great game for two people, not sponsored I just love the game).
It is my most favourite thing to do with Paul, we both like to cook together and truly it makes the meal all that more magical when you do it together. We do this at least once a week, Paul's schedule is the complete opposite of mine, he works nights and I work days and once a week he gets an evening off so on that evening we are either spending it at home cooking together and talking for hours while we savour each bite or we go out for dinner or do an activity like a hike (in the summer while the light lingers longer), kayak, picnic on a beach whatever it may be just something together, well along with Solomon. That guy is attached to our hips.
It is one thing I treasure the most about Paul and I's relationship that we really do truly love to do things together and most of our passions, likes and dislikes are the same. And the ones that are different we get to teach each other, which makes them almost even more special.
I am not quite sure how this post turned into a sappy love fest but there you have a little insider into our relationship, whether you wanted it or not. Maybe because it was my birthday yesterday I am on this extra high from all the love I received and just feel so incredibly grateful for the people in my life. And truthfully I always love hearing the sappy love story stuff, it makes my heart happy and this world can always use a little more love and happiness I believe.
But onto the recipe we go....you can also make this harissa chicken recipe completely vegetarian/vegan if you wanted to. Switch out the chicken for more of your favourite veggies, cauliflower, spinach, carrots (already in it), potato, anything would work really.
The garnishes on the harissa chicken also make a huge difference in taking this dish to the next level. Plenty of fresh chopped cilantro and mint add huge depth and a tossing of minced preserved lemons just burst in your mouth. Last week I shared how to make your own preserved lemons at home here. It is so easy and so worth the 5 minutes they take to make. And goat cheese just adds to the creaminess.
Also this rice is my new favorite way ever to cook rice. It is made with coconut milk which makes it extra luxurious, fluffed up at the end with some slivered almond and dried cranberries it would go with just about anything you want to top it with. Even on its own it is a winner.
coconut milk harissa chicken + chickpeas & garden carrots
1 1/2 cans of coconut milk (the other half will be used in the rice)
1/2 cup water
3 tbsp honey
1 inch ginger
3-4 cloves of garlic
1 cinnamon stick or 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
5 large fresh garden carrots (the ones with the tops)
1 can chickpeas
1 1/2 pounds of organic chicken (I used a mixture of thighs and legs)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large bunch of chopped fresh cilantro
1 large bunch of chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup goat cheese
coconut scented rice
1 cup brown rice
1 cup of water
1 cup of coconut milk (half of a can)
1 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup slivered almonds
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
In a medium size pot with a lid add the cup of brown rice along with the cup of coconut milk, butter and salt. Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer with the lid on for 40 mins.
In a large cocotte on the stove on med/high heat add 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of olive oil. Add in your chicken pieces and brown on each side (about 3-4 minutes per side). Once browned add in the minced ginger and garlic, saute for 2 minutes. Next add in the coconut milk, water, harissa, honey, cinnamon and stir until it is all mixed together. Add in the chickpeas and carrots and place the pot in the oven (uncovered). Bake for 35-45 minutes, until the chicken is done and the carrots and tender.
Once the rice is cooked take it off the heat and add it to a serving dish, mix in the cranberries and slivered almonds. Serve the harissa chicken on top garnished with fresh cilantro, mint, goat cheese and preserved lemons (these all make a big difference).
To make this recipe vegetarian/vegan swap out the chicken for additional veggies, cauliflower, potatoes, spinach, peas, peppers etc.
recipe adapted from Half baked Harvest