Saturday, 18 May 2013

spicy harissa grilled chicken skewers

Harissa is a spicy pepper based sauce common in Tunisa and North African cuisine. This recipe is based on one I found in the Ottolenghi cookbook and goes brilliantly with most meats but works particularly well with these chicken skewers. This is very, very easy to make and makes an excellent dinner any day of the week.

Ingredients Serves 4

800g diced chicken breast
1 tbsp greek yogurt

2 fresh red chillies roughly chopped
2 dried red chillies roughly chopped
2 small or  1 large grilled red pepper (I used shop bought jarred ones but you could do this yourself)
1 small red onion, chopped
1/4 tsp whole cumin
1/4 tsp whole coriander
1/4 tsp caraway seed
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped

Put the cumin, coriander and caraway in a dry frying pan and gently toast for a couple of minutes over a low heat. They'll be ready when the scent is released. Place in pestle and mortar and grind to a fine powder.

Next, heat the oil in the same pan you used for the spices. Add the onion, chillies and garlic and cook over a medium heat for around 10 minutes or until they have coloured round the edges and cooked through.

Place all the ingredients in a food processor with the lemon juice (or pestle and mortar if you've got the time and energy) and blitz together until you've got a smooth paste. Transfer to a bowl now if you are just making the harissa but if you're making the chicken skewers mix in the yogurt. 

In a large plastic container mix together the chicken pieces and harissa paste until it is all thoroughly coated. Cover and set aside in the fridge for at least 2 hours or overnight if you like. 

When you're ready to cook your skewers preheat the oven to 200C and put your griddle pan on the stove. Divide the chicken pieces between four metal skewers then once the griddle pan is hot cook the skewers until chicken has got some colour on all sides but not cooked through. Transfer the chicken on the griddle pan to the oven and cook for around a further 10-15 minutes or until cooked through.

Serve with lemon wedges, salad and flat bread.

I'm entering this recipe in the July Four Seasons Food Challenge hosted by the lovely people at Chez Foti and Delicieux


  1. Oh yes please! I love Harissa and this looks like a wonderful marinade for a barbecue which I'm sure would go with most meats and veggies. Definitely bookmarking! Thanks for another wonderful entry to the Four Seasons Food challenge, Louisa

  2. These look so good. Harissa from scratch - impressive and I bet it's wonderful and gives off a great aroma! Yep, I'm with Louisa on this one nd I am bookmarking it too :)


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