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Recipe Category: Main Courses

Harissa Chicken with Pumpkin, Chick Peas and Pistachios

This Moroccan inspired dish is all about the home made harissa, a Middle Eastern chilli paste.

Serves: 4
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
  • 1 kg chicken pieces, skin on (thighs, drumsticks)
  • 400g can chick peas, drained
  • 500g pumpkin, cut into chunks
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • coriander or parsley leaves, for garnish
  • chopped pistachio nuts or toasted slivered almonds, for sprinkling, optional
  • 1 red capsicum (bullhorn, if available)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely choppped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3-4 chillies*, seeds removed, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons caraway or fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Cut a few slashes into each chicken piece. Coat chicken, chick peas and pumpkin with harissa in a large roasting tray. Nestle lemon slices in between and drizzle with oil. Roast at 200°C for 45 minutes. Serve sprinkled with coriander and nuts.

Blacken the skin of the capsicum on all sides directly over a gas flame or under the grill. Wrap in foil and allow to cool before rubbing off the charred skin and removing the seeds. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a frypan and sauté onions, garlic and chilli for 5-7 minutes until the garlic is golden and toasted. Add spices and cook, stirring, until aromatic. Stir in tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Use a small food processor to blend onion mixture, capsicum, lemon juice, salt and remaining oil together to make a paste. Use as required.

Harissa may be stored in the refrigerator in a clean jar, with a layer of olive oil on top and will keep for a few weeks.


* Chillies vary in size, heat and spiciness, so adjust the amount added according to your taste and the type of chilli you are using. If in doubt, carefully taste it beforehand!

Tray bake may be assembled and marinated in the refrigerator up to 24 hours before cooking.

Author: Naomi Crisante
Date Created: 30/05/2021