Harissa chicken is an easy, healthy, juicy explosion of exotic flavors that makes everything better. It’s stand alone delicious or fabulous in wraps, plates, bowls and sandwiches!

Harissa chicken is a spicy chicken from North Africa made from harissa (red chili paste), olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and spices.  It’s unabashedly flavorful, bursting with complex, warm, nutty, savory, smoky, garlicky notes.  But don’t let the word “spicy” scare you – YOU can control the heat by adding more or less harissa.  This simple marinate-and-cook harissa chicken recipe is SO simple to make – the marinade literally does all the work with only 10 minutes of prep! Next, cook the harissa chicken thighs on the grill, stove or in the oven (all instructions included). This harissa chicken recipe is excellent for meal prep, make ahead lunch/dinners, entertaining and leftovers – you will love having this chicken on hand!

I love marinating chicken!  Marinades are the easiest way to create, tender, juicy, flavor bursting chicken with crazy little prep – and zero cleanup if you choose to grill your chicken.  Some of my favorite chicken marinade recipes include Greek Chicken, Chili Lime Chicken, Cilantro Lime Chicken, Chipotle Chicken, Teriyaki Chicken, Buffalo Chicken, Lemon Herb Chicken, Korean Chicken and now introducing Harissa Chicken!

top view of harissa chicken recipe stacked on a white platter after grilling

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Harissa ChICKEN recipe

I was a late bloomer with harissa.  I first tasted the spicy, peppery sauce at CAVA, my favorite build-your-own bowl place.  As I dove into my bowl, it was surprisingly spicy with earthy, nutty charm – and I loved it!  Since then, harissa has become one of my favorite condiments with its spicy, complex, earthy allure.  I add it to eggs, bowls, sandwiches, vegetables, etc.- I don’t know what I’d do without it! So, if you’re wondering if you need another chili paste – the answer is yes!

Today, I’m excited to share one of my favorite ways to use harissa – harissa chicken!  You will LOVE this bold, juicy chicken with its complex spicy notes and unapologetic flavor. It will leave you completely satisfied, whether you serve the chicken plain with a side of veggies and rice, as a wrap, salad or bowl – and it’s so easy!

The chicken is made by slathering it in a thick marinade and then cooking on the grill, stovetop or oven.  By marinating the chicken, all the work to create a robust, flavorful bite is already done for you. Meanwhile, you can prep the optional cilantro yogurt sauce and any sides.  When you’re ready to eat, all you have to do is cook the chicken and devour!

Why this recipe works:  

  • Delicious.  This harissa chicken boasts dynamic punches of flavor.  It’s spicy from the harissa, tangy from the lemon juice, earthy from the cumin and coriander, smoky from the paprika with a punch of garlic to top it off.  It boasts a tantalizing charred exterior while the inside remains splendidly juicy and flavorful. 
  • Easy.  Marinate the chicken and cook – couldn’t be any simpler!
  • Versatile.  This is one of my favorite aspects of this these harissa chicken thighs.  You can serve the marinated chicken plain with whatever sides you desire or serve in bowls, wraps, salads, sandwiches etc. I will often make a big batch of this easy chicken recipe and serve it countless ways throughout the week.  And if chicken isn’t your thing, feel free to swap in shrimp, pork or beef.
  • Meal prep or make ahead.  You can cook the chicken ahead of time then divide it between containers for meal prep along with whatever sides you wish or have everything ready to go at lunch or dinner time.
  • Custom heat.  Add more or less harissa to control the level of heat.  
  • Easy to double.  You can double or triple the recipe for entertaining, for purposeful leftovers or to freeze.
  • Freezer friendly.  The marinated chicken is freezer friendly for an easy make ahead dinner. 
  • Great for entertaining. Just throw the marinated chicken on the grill when guests arrive, and dinner is served in minutes! 

What is harissa? 

What is harissa made of?

Harissa is made of red chili peppers, particularly baklouti peppers and serrano peppers, which are rehydrated, crushed and blended with oil and spices. The spices and herbs can vary by household, region and by brand, but often include garlic, cumin, coriander, and caraway seeds.  Lemon juice is a common addition to cut through the earthy flavor profile.  You’ll also find harissa with mint and even rose harissa containing sweet, fragrant rose petals.

What does harissa taste like?

Harissa can vary significantly from region to region and brand to brand but in general, harissa is spicy, smoky, a bit tangy and earthy with more deep, complex flavor than just chili paste.  It can be more or less spicy due to the range of chili peppers used; it can be smoky if the chilies are roasted first; it can be more or less sharp/tangy depending on the amount of lemon juice/vinegar used; and it can be loose and saucy or thick and pasty.  One thing all harissa has in common, however, is that it’s delicious!

Where does harissa come from?

Chilies have been cultivated and eaten for thousands of years by the Aztecs, Mayans, and the Incas, but are a relatively new ingredient in North African cooking.  It wasn’t until the arrival of Christopher Columbus and the spice-seeking Spanish and Portuguese to the Americas, that chilies were shipped back to Europe. 

From Spain and Portugal, peppers traveled to the Spanish and Portuguese colonies in Africa, India, and Southeast Asia and the popularity of harissa erupted. Today, it’s estimated that a quarter of the world’s population eat harissa in any single day! 

showing how to serve harissa chicken recipe on a platter

Ingredients for harissa chicken

This harissa chicken is intensely flavorful due to the complex harissa and rainbow of seasonings. The ingredient list might look a little lengthy, but each ingredient plays a key role and the entire marinade only take a couple minutes to whisk together so please don’t skip any!  Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Harissa sauce: a chile sauce made of red chiles, garlic, lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil and spices such as cumincoriander and caraway seeds. Your grocery store may or may not carry harissa. I know Whole Foods carries CAVA harissa in their deli section, otherwise, this is the exact one I used for this recipe (from Amazon).  There are quite a few harissa options to choose from on Amazon, so make sure to check the label.  I’ve included more details below.
  • Olive oil:  use extra quality olive oil for the best flavor. The olive oil dissolves fat-soluble flavor compounds from the seasonings and other flavorings and evenly disperses them onto the surface of the chicken. 
  • Lemon juice:  helps tenderize the chicken by breaking down lean muscle fibers and cuts through the earthiness.
  • Balsamic vinegar:  isn’t a traditional ingredient, but after using it in my Greek Chicken marinade, chicken shawarma and doner kebab recipes, I can attest it adds an exciting depth of flavor.
  • Garlic: loads of fresh garlic amps up the flavor and is needed to compete with the heat.
  • Cumin:  warm, earthy, nutty, with a hint of both sweet and bitter. 
  • Coriander: earthy, tart, and sweet.
  • Cardamom:  minty, citrusy, herbal and spicy. 
  • Smoked paprika: rich, mild, sweet, and smoky made from smoked pimento peppers dried over oak fires.
  • Cinnamon and cloves or allspice:  strong, spicy, warm and sweetly pungent with peppery overtones and hints of juniper and peppercorns.
  • Onion powder:  aromatic with a spicy bite. 

Where to buy harissa paste

Harissa should be sold at most grocery stores in a jar near the chili sauces or in the spice aisle, or you can purchase it on Amazon.  But before you pick up any harissa, there are a few things to consider: 

  • Check the label:  Look for brands that list peppers as the first ingredient. Harissa can sometimes be cut with tomato product, and that’s not what you want. Also, authentic tasting harissa will not just contain chili peppers, garlic and olive oil but should also contain spices (cumin, caraway, cardamom) and hopefully lemon juice.
  • Check the spice level:  I have seen complaints on Amazon by people complaining the harissa wasn’t spicy at all – that is because many brands sell both hot and mild varieties. If you’re looking for a spicy condiment (as intended for this recipe) go for the hot. If you want sweeter, more floral pepper flavor with minimal heat, go for the mild.  If the brand doesn’t specifically say hot or mild, then it is likely hot.

WHAT CUT OF CHICKEN IS BEST?

You can use chicken breasts or chicken thighs in this recipe, you will just need to adjust the cooking time accordingly.  That being said, I highly recommend boneless, skinless chicken thighs for juiciest chicken. Chicken thighs are dark meat which means they are inherently juicier, richer tasting and produce far more tender chicken than chicken breasts.  They are also harder to overcook and stay tender for days with a more palate pleasing texture, even when reheated for leftovers.

CAN I USE CHICKEN BREASTS?

Absolutely!  You can still use chicken breasts in and they will still be juicy and flavorful from the aromatic marinade. If you choose to use chicken breasts then take care to pound them to an even thickness before marinating.  If your chicken breasts are extra-large, slice them through the equator to create fillets so the marinade has time to flavor the chicken through and through, and so there is more surface area to grill and char.

Also note, you don’t want to overcook chicken breasts or they won’t be as juicy.  Chicken breasts should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, 10 degrees less than the ideal 175 degrees F for chicken thighs.

HOW SPICY IS THIS CHICKEN RECIPE?

This harissa chicken recipe is supposed to have a kick.  The heat will depend on how much harissa you add and which brand of harissa you use.  I used this harissa and used 2 tablespoons for medium-spicy heat.  For spicier, use more harissa, for milder, use less harissa.

Because each brand of harissa varies in heat level due to the chilies used, I suggest staring with less harissa, then add more to taste.  Taste the marinade before you add the chicken.  Keep in mind, it is a marinade, so the flavor will be substantially diluted after the chicken is grilled, but you should get an idea of if your marinade is too mild.

top view of harissa chicken thighs in a bowl with bell peppers, sweet potatoes and pickled red onions showing how to serve the recipe

WHAT SAUCE FOR harissa chicken?

Harissa chicken is spicy, robust and earthy, so I love serving it with a yogurt, lemon garlic sauce. It is lusciously creamy, tangy, super flavorful and compliments the spicy chicken. Of course, this sauce is optional, you can also serve harissa chicken with tzatziki or simple Greek yogurt as well.

For this yogurt sauce, I amped up the greens and added plenty of cilantro and parsley. The sauce is easy to make in your blender or you can skip the herbs and just whisk the rest of the ingredients together in a bowl (mincing the garlic first of course). You will need:

  • Greek yogurt:  use Greek yogurt verses regular yogurt because Greek yogurt is much thicker.  You may use either Greek whole-milk yogurt, low-fat or non-fat yogurt and they will all produce excellently thick, creamy results. 
  • Lemon juice: fresh lemon juice is preferred, but you may substitute with bottled lemon juice. 
  • Cilantro: fresh, tangy, citrusy, and zesty.  Use the top of the cilantro bunch no need to separate the leaves from the stems.   
  • Parsley: clean, slightly peppery with a touch of earthiness and almost anise-like.  Use the top of the bunch, no need to separate the leaves from the stems.  
  • Garlic: I use 2 garlic cloves for but you are welcome to add more or less to taste.
  • Seasonings:  Sslt, pepper and ground cumin round out the flavor profile. Use more or less to taste.

HOW TO MAKE harissa chicken

These harissa chicken thighs are so easy to make – just marinate and grill! Here’s how:

STEP 1:  POUND CHICKEN TO AN EVEN THICKNESS

  • Pounding the chicken ensures the chicken cooks evenly and also breaks down the fibers and tenderizes the chicken.
  • Place chicken in between two pieces of plastic wrap or I like to place my chicken in a large freezer size bag. 
  • If you don’t have a meat mallet, you can use the side of a can to pound the chicken. 

STEP 1: MARINATE CHICKEN

  • Whisk all of the Marinade ingredients together in a large bowl or freezer size plastic bag. 
  • Marinate for 4 hours or up to 24 hours in the refrigerator.
showing how to make harissa chicken by adding chicken to a glass bowl with the mainade

STEP 3: COOK CHICKEN

  • When ready to cook, let the chicken sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.  This will ensure the chicken cooks evenly.
  • You can grill the chicken outdoors or in a grill pan indoors, cook it in a cast iron skillet or bake per recipe instructions below. 
  • Once the chicken is cooked, wait 5-10 minutes before slicing so the juices can redistribute throughout the chicken.

HOW TO COOK harissa CHICKEN thighs

The method of cooking is entirely up to you, but I prefer either grilling or a cast iron skillet as opposed to the oven for more charred flavor.

HOW TO COOK harissa CHICKEN ON THE STOVE

  • Heat one tablespoon vegetable oil a large cast iron skillet or grill pan over medium high heat.
  • Working in batches, add chicken in a single layer and cook for 4-5 minutes.  Turn chicken over, cover, and reduce heat to medium.  Cook approximately 3-5 additional minutes (depending on thickness of chicken), or until chicken is cooked through.
  • Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

HOW TO COOK harissa CHICKEN ON THE GRILL

  • Grease and preheat the grill to medium high heat, 400-450°F.
  • Grill chicken, covered, for 5-7 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through and an internal temperature reaches 175 degrees F.
  • Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

HOW TO COOK harissa CHICKEN IN THE OVEN

  • Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. 
  • Add chicken to baking sheet in a single layer so they aren’t touching. 
  • Bake at 425 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until an internal temperature reaches 175 degrees F.
  • Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

HOW DO I KNOW WHEN MY CHICKEN THIGHS ARE DONE?

Always use a meat thermometer to check for doneness so you don’t undercook or overcook your chicken.  A meat thermometer means perfectly cooked, tender, juicy chicken ever time. Chicken thighs should be cooked to 175 degrees F and chicken breasts should be cooked to 165 degrees. Cooking dark meat to only 165 F will yield chewy, rubbery meat because it contains more connective tissue than light meat, but cooking thighs to 175 F, will yield tender, juicy meat as the collagen melts and turns to gelatin. I recommend removing the chicken from the grill a few degrees under because the temperature will continue to rise once the chicken is removed from the grill.

How do I not overcook my chicken?

I highly recommend investing in a meat thermometer, otherwise there is no accurate way to check and see when your chicken is cooked without slicing it open and loosing valuable juices.  You can pick up an inexpensive instant read thermometer at any grocery store or Amazon, or I’m obsessed with my digital meat probe thermometer.  You stick the probe in the chicken (or any protein) and can set an alert for the temperature, walk away and it will beep when ready!  You’ll never overcook chicken again!  

showing how to serve harissa chicken recipe on a platter

How do I keep chicken from sticking on the grill?

The answer is threefold:

1) Clean grill before cooking. You should clean your grill grates before and after grilling with a wire grill brush to remove any residue. This will help create beautiful grill marks and help prevent the chicken from sticking.

2) Grease the grill. Generously grease the CLEAN grill with a wad of oiled paper towels using tongs just before adding the chicken.  NEVER use spray oils once the grill is on.

3) Add chicken to a hot grill. Heat up the grill with the lid closed so it can achieve temperature more quickly; plan on 10-15 minutes.  Don’t add the chicken until the grill reaches temperature. This will also help it sear nicely and release from the grill.

More TIPS FOR MAKING harissa CHICKEN

This recipe is pretty straightforward, but here are some tips and tricks to guarantee the perfect chicken every time:

How do I make the chicken tender?

Whether you use chicken breasts or chicken thighs for this recipe, you will want to pound the chicken to an even thickness. Pounding chicken to an even thickens not only helps tenderize the chicken but ensures the chicken cooks evenly. Even cooking eliminates dryness caused from overcooking the chicken in order to make sure the thickest part is cooked at the peril of the thinnest.

How long do I marinate chicken thighs?

For maximum benefit, marinate the chicken for at least 4 hours, up to  24 hours.  Don’t marinate longer than that because the acid in the marinade can break down the muscle fibers too much and make your chicken mushy

Should you poke holes in chicken before marinating?

No, you should NOT poke holes in the chicken before marinating. This actually drains out the valuable juices and will result in less juicy chicken.  You can cut slits in thick pieces of chicken like chicken legs to reach deeper into the protein, but never holes.

Can you freeze chicken in the marinade?

Yes!  If you can’t get to cooking your chicken within 12 hours, just pop it in the freezer – another perk of using sealable plastic bags. When it’s time to cook, just thaw and cook!

Is it safe to bring chicken to room temperature before cooking?

Yes, please do! You always want to let any protein sit at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes before cooking (and larger cuts even longer).  The logic is that room temperature chicken will cook faster if started at a higher temperature which means the outside is less likely to overcook and less time for moisture to be released while cooking.  It also cooks more evenly and you aren’t left with an overcooked exterior and cold interior. 

Can I use chicken breasts?

Yes, you can use chicken breasts and adjust the cooking time, but for the juiciest, most flavorful chicken with greater caramelization, use chicken thighs.  Chicken breasts are too lean and will dry out at the high heat and duration required to caramelize the exterior of the chicken.

Why should you let thicken rest after cooking?

After chicken is finished cooking, transfer it to a cutting board and let rest 5-10 minutes before slicing so it has time to reabsorb the juices that have pushed towards the outside of the chicken. If you cut into the chicken immediately after cooking, valuable, moisture-giving juices will run out.

How long with harissa chicken last in the fridge?

The marinated, cooked chicken can stay fresh in the fridge for 3-5 days and is ready to use when needed!  

up close of harissa chicken thighs on a platter showing how juicy they are

WHAT SHOULD I SERVE WITH harissa CHICKEN?

Harissa chicken pairs well with a side of couscous, rice or potatoes, along with a side of veggies or a salad and sweet fruit.  Here are some of our favorite fresh pairings from all over the world:

HOW TO SERVE harissa CHICKEN thighs?

This harissa chicken is so versatile and can be served countless ways. Here are just a few ideas:

  • Harissa chicken bowls: my favorite way to serve pretty much any marinated chicken!  Top your favorite grains (rice, couscous, quinoa, lentils, cauliflower rice, etc.) with chopped chicken, roasted veggies (roasted cauliflower, roasted sweet potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts) and your favorite toppings: shredded greens, pickled red onions, white beans, chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumbers, corn, hummus, harissa, etc. and serve with hummus, tzatziki or cilantro yogurt sauce. See my Mediterranean Bowl recipe for all the details and how I roast my veggies
  • Harissa chicken kabobs:  instead of grilling the chicken whole, chop it into chunks and skewer along with pineapple, bell peppers and onions. 
  • Harissa chicken wraps:  serve the chicken in flatbread slathered in hummus, with your favorite veggies, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and yogurt sauce.  
  • Harissa chicken lettuce wraps:  go low carb and load bib lettuce leaves with chicken and veggies and top with yogurt sauce.
  • Harissa chicken plates:  serve chicken with a side of rice and anything else you want!  Add roasted sweet potatoes, couscous salad, chickpea salad or a simple green salad.
  • Harissa chicken salad: is like a deconstructed wrap.  Toss the chicken with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and other veggies along with the yogurt sauce to make a salad.
  • Harissa chicken sandwiches:  smother toasted bread with hummus, Greek yogurt or harissa (or any combo) and layer with chicken, and any toppings belly desires such as sliced avocado, sliced tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, bacon, sprouts, pickled red onions, caramelized onions, etc.
  • Harissa chicken and veggie skillet:  chop the chicken and cook it in the skillet instead of the grill.  Remove the cooked chicken and sauté veggies such as green beans, cauliflower, asparagus, spinach, etc.
showing how to serve harissa chicken recipe on a platter

CAN I meal PREP harissa chicken?

Yes!  If you’d like to make chicken bowls, you can easily store all of the ingredients in separate containers in the refrigerator. If you are meal prepping for on the go lunches, I consolidate the ingredients. I prefer warm chicken, so I divide the chicken from the fresh ingredients. Here’s how: 

  1. Divide rice, chicken and roasted vegetables between desired number of containers. Don’t close containers until chicken has cooled.
  2. Layer container(s) or bag(s) with pickled red onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and lettuce, in that order so they don’t make other ingredients soggy, and place bags on top of chicken.  Store yogurt sauce in a bag or small container.
  3. When ready to serve, warm the chicken in the microwave and then top with fresh ingredients.

CAN I FREEZE harissa chicken thighs?

Yes!  You can freeze the uncooked marinating chicken or cooked chicken.

  • To freeze chicken in marinade:  add the chicken to the marinade ingredients and freeze.  Freeze for up to 3 months.  When you’re ready to use, the chicken will marinate as you defrost the chicken in the refrigerator.
  • To freeze cooked chicken:  let chicken cool completely then transfer it to an airtight container or plastic freezer bag and squeeze out any excess air. Freeze for 2 to 3 months.
  • To thaw:  thaw cooked chicken in the refrigerator overnight.  You can also thaw in the microwave but take care to thaw slowly so your chicken doesn’t become rubbery.  Use any of the below methods to reheat.

HOW TO REHEAT harissa CHICKEN

  • Skillet:  reheat in a skillet over medium low heat until warmed through, adding a splash of water for added moisture.
  • Microwave:  reheat in the microwave at 30 second intervals, taking care not to overcook.
  • Oven:  reheat in the oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees F or just until warmed through.

How can I use harissa?

Now that you have a whole jar of harissa, you’re probably wondering what to do with it! But don’t worry, harissa is as popular as ketchup in North Africa because it is SO versatile and goes with practically everything.  It adds a spicy chili kick and saucy texture to any dish and can be used straight out of the jar or mixed into hummus or Greek yogurt.  Here are just a few ways to put your harissa to use:

  • Protein (poultry, fish, pork, lamb, beef, etc.):  use harissa as a condiment like you would barbecue sauce alongside any protein or add it to marinades like in this harissa chicken recipe. You can also stir it into softened butter and use for steak, fish or chicken or stir it into melted butter and drizzle over, shrimp, chicken, etc.
  • Dip:  use it as a stand-alone spicy dip or mix it into hummus, Greek yogurt, sour cream, cottage cheese, whipped feta, etc. then proceed to dunk pita bread, pita chips, crackers, crostini etc. or all your favorite veggies like carrots, celery, bell peppers, cucumbers, broccoli, cauliflower, snap peas, jicama or any crunchy raw veggies.
  • Breakfast:  jazz up your favorite egg dishes with just a dollop of harissa.  Try it with scrambled eggs, eggs benedict, omelettes, breakfast casserole, frittata, quiche, egg-on-bread, etc.
  • Spread:  use it as a standalone spread or mix it with hummus, Greek yogurt or cream cheese and spread on burgers, sandwiches, flatbread, pitas, avocado toast, etc.
  • Veggies: serve it on the side or whisk in some olive oil and drizzle it on your favorite fresh, grilled and roasted veggies.  You can also stir it into softened butter and slather it on grilled corn, or stir it into melted butter and drizzle it on veggies.
  • Salads:  whisk in some extra lemon juice and oil to create a spicy dressing.
  • Pasta:  mix it into any pasta and instantly wake up the dish.
  • Mashed potatoes: stir directly into your favorite mashed potato recipe instead of sour cream – I know it sounds weird, but is SO good!
side view of serving harissa chicken thighs in a bowl with bell peppers, sweet potatoes and pickled red onions showing how to serve the recipe
showing how to serve harissa chicken recipe on a platter

Harissa Chicken

Harissa chicken is a spicy chicken from North Africa made from harissa (red chili paste), olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and spices.  It’s unabashedly flavorful, bursting with complex, warm, nutty, savory, smoky, garlicky notes.  But don’t let the word “spicy” scare you – YOU can control the heat by adding more or less harissa.  This simple marinate-and-cook harissa chicken recipe is SO simple to make – the marinade literally does all the work with only 10 minutes of prep! Next, cook the harissa chicken thighs on the grill, stove or in the oven (all instructions included). This harissa chicken recipe is excellent for meal prep, make ahead lunch/dinners, entertaining and leftovers – you will love having this chicken on hand!
Servings: 6 -8 servings
Prep Time: 4 hours

Ingredients

CHICKEN MARINADE

  • 2-3 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, pounded to an even thickness
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons harissa paste
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TBS EACH ground cumin, ground coriander
  • 2 tsp EACH smoked paprika, ground cardamom, salt
  • 1 tsp EACH onion powder, pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

CILANTRO YOGURT SAUCE (OPTIONAL)

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup packed cilantro
  • 1/3 cup packed parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp EACH ground cumin, salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

MARINATE CHICKEN

  • Whisk all of the Marinade ingredients together in a large bowl or freezer size plastic bag. Add chicken and turn to coat. Marinate in the refrigerator 4 to 24 hours. Let chicken sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before cooking.

YOGURT SAUCE

  • Make the yogurt sauce and prep your sides while the chicken is marinating. Add all of the Sauce Ingredients to a blender and blend until the herbs are chopped, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed. If you would like a thicker sauce, stir (don’t blend) in additional yogurt. Cover and chill in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve.

HOW TO COOK CHICKEN ON THE GRILL

  • Grease and preheat the grill to medium heat, 400-450°F. Grill chicken, covered for 5-7 minutes per side, or until chicken is cooked through and an internal temperature reaches 175 degrees F. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

HOW TO COOK CHICKEN ON THE STOVE

  • Heat one tablespoon vegetable oil a large cast iron skillet or grill pan over medium high heat. Working in batches, add chicken in a single layer and cook for 4-5 minutes. Turn chicken over, cover, and reduce heat to medium. Cook approximately 3-5 additional minutes (depending on thickness of chicken), or until chicken is cooked through. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

HOW TO COOK CHICKEN IN THE OVEN

  • Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray. Add chicken to baking sheet in a single layer so they aren’t touching. Bake at 425 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until an internal temperature reaches 175 degrees F. Transfer chicken to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

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2 Comments

  1. Stephanie says

    I’m excited to make this next weekend for my adventurous, ethnic foodie family! The yogurt sauce sounds scrumptious. You’re grilled chicken recipes are always amazing, especially the shawarma. I’ve seen the harissa on the store shelf for years, not knowing what it was or how to use it. I picked up a jar of “Mina” brand harissa at my local supermarket, they stocked it next to the Thai curry pastes in the Asian cooking section, if that helps CC fans where to source it too.

    • Jen says

      Thanks for that helpful info Stephanie! If you love the shawarma – you will love this recipe! Very similar with more heat!