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Harissa, Tomato, and Lemon Chicken

This dish is perfect for a family meal or a dinner party, its full of flavor and so easy to make. It looks pretty on the plate, its comforting, and its also really healthy. I wish I had thought of it sooner. This dish is rich but also zesty combining classic Mediterranean flavors with chicken thighs that are hard to screw up. I cannot recommend this enough. Also, I made this recipe small since it was just for the two of us (no, the kids won’t eat this yet : ( but it can easily be doubled or tripled.

What you need:

- 4 skin on, bone in chicken thighs

-4 tbsp of harrisa (the good kind, pepper forward)

-1 cup of marinara sauce ( I don’t stray from Rao’s)

-1/2 a lemon

- 1 tsp oregano

-salt and pepper

-1 can of garbanzo beans (chickpeas) rinsed and drained

- 1/2 cup of feta cheese

-olive oil and/or canola oil

First, pat your chicken thighs dry with a paper towel and sprinkle a little salt and pepper over them. Next gently loosen the skin on your chicken thighs and rub the harissa all over and under the skin. Set a skillet or pan with a lid over medium heat and drizzle a little olive oil and canola oil (about 1 tbsp each). I like to combine them because canola oil does a better job of not letting the chicken skin stick. Then place your chicken thighs skin side down and let them sit for a solid 5-6 minutes, do not flip them early. Let them get a good sear and even char a tad. Squeeze some of your lemon on the side facing you and then flip them when its time. Squeeze a little lemon on the other side and pour your marinara and chickpeas into the pan. Now add your oregano to the pan, sprinkling it evenly. Using a spatula, scrape up the burned brown bits from the chicken skin and lightly swirl it into the marinara sauce. Place the lemon in the middle of everything and cover with a lid and let it simmer over low/medium for about 12 minutes. When your chicken thighs have reached an internal temp of 155 go ahead and turn off the pan and sprinkle the feta cheese evenly over the top of the chicken and chickpeas. Put the lid back on and wait for 5 minutes, the chicken will finish cooking (should be 165 internal temp...or juices run clear when pierced with a fork). I like to serve this with a Greek salad, loaded with olives, banana peppers, and a good vinaigrette.

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