Recipe for Harissa Chicken and Rice

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We love this recipe for harissa chicken because it also includes rice! In case you haven't heard, chicken and rice is a winning combination, especially when it's all cooked in one pan, and my family could eat it all day long.

Recipe for Harissa Chicken and Rice

If you're not in the know of harissa, then don't delay! Originating in Tunisia and used widely in North African cuisine, harissa is a chilli pepper seasoning whose main ingredients include chilli, cumin, coriander, garlic and caraway. Harissa seasoning comes either as a paste mixed with oil, or as a powder mixture to be used dry. Its deliciously complex flavours can liven up even the dullest of meals!

Recipe for Harissa Chicken and Rice

In the recipe for harissa chicken and rice below, I use a dry harissa powder to first coat the chicken pieces before frying and cooking. If you use a wet harissa paste, you could almost treat is as a marinade for the chicken. One isn't necessarily better than the other, it really comes down to personal preference and your favourite harissa blend.

Recipe for Harissa Chicken and Rice

For the rice, I like to mix in a bit of wholegrain wild rice to add some texture. I use wild red rice, which has a subtle nutty flavour and holds is shape beautifully without becoming mushy. You can substitute with your favourite variety of wild rice, or even use a premixed packet of white basmati and wild rice.

If wild rice isn't really your thing, or you can't find it in your local shop, feel free to use wholegrain brown rice. Wild and brown rices typically require longer to cook, so bear in mind that if you use a higher proportion of these rices, you may need to increase cooking time.

The spiciness level of this recipe for harissa chicken and rice is only mild - definitely enough to make it interesting and give you a kick, but it won't burn your insides! To increase the heat, you could use more harissa seasoning or add a bit of chilli powder.

My family loves this dish, and the children absolutely devour it and always ask for more. Another secret here is that I use chicken thigh fillets, rather than breast meat. The brown meat of chicken thighs is meaty and flavourful, and there is very little risk of it drying out from over cooking, leaving you with a mouthful of juicy, delicious chicken bites.

Recipe for Harissa Chicken and Rice

Here's what you'll need to make this recipe for harissa chicken and rice:
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500g chicken thigh fillets
2 tsp harissa powder
1 tsp ground coriander
Oil for cooking
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 Tbsp cumin seeds
625ml chicken stock
200g white basmati rice
50g wild rice
Sea salt to taste
Flat leaf parsley, finely chopped, to garnish

And here's what you'll need to do:

  • Mix together the harissa powder and ground coriander.
  • Chop the chicken thigh fillets into bite sized pieces, and toss with the spices, making sure all the pieces are coated evenly.
  • Set aside until needed.
  • Chop the onions, prepare the garlic and chicken stock, and weigh out and combine the basmati and wild rice in a separate bowl.
  • You could also use premixed basmati and wild rice combinations.
  • Heat some oil in a large frying pan with lid over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds, crushing them slightly to release their oils, and cook until fragrant.
  • Add the onion, cook for a few minutes until they begin to soften, then add the garlic, and cook for a further minute.
  • Add the chicken pieces, and leave them to brown for a few minutes before turning and leaving them again.
  • When most of the chicken is browned, stir in the rice and cook for one minute.
  • Season with sea salt, as required.
  • Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil, then cover and turn down the heat.
  • Simmer for 25 minutes, and rest for 5 minutes, before opening the lid.
  • Garnish with parsley before serving.
Recipe for Harissa Chicken and Rice

Recipe for Harissa Chicken and Rice

By

Recipe for Harissa Chicken and Rice

This recipe for harissa chicken and rice is super easy and a real crowd pleaser, perfect for weeknight dinners.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4
Course: Main
Cuisine: Modern European
Tags: Dinner Recipe, One Pot Meal

Ingredients

500g chicken thigh fillets
2 tsp harissa powder
1 tsp ground coriander
Oil for cooking
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed
2 Tbsp cumin seeds
625ml chicken stock
200g white basmati rice
50g wild rice
Sea salt to taste
Flat leaf parsley, finely chopped, to garnish

Method

  1. Mix together the harissa powder and ground coriander.
  2. Chop the chicken thigh fillets into bite sized pieces, and toss with the spices, making sure all the pieces are coated evenly.
  3. Set aside until needed.
  4. Chop the onions, prepare the garlic and chicken stock, and weigh out and combine the basmati and wild rice in a separate bowl.
  5. You could also use premixed basmati and wild rice combinations.
  6. Heat some oil in a large frying pan with lid over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds, crushing them slightly to release their oils, and cook until fragrant.
  7. Add the onion, cook for a few minutes until they begin to soften, then add the garlic, and cook for a further minute.
  8. Add the chicken pieces, and leave them to brown for a few minutes before turning and leaving them again.
  9. When most of the chicken is browned, stir in the rice and cook for one minute.
  10. Season with sea salt, as required.
  11. Add the chicken stock, bring to the boil, then cover and turn down the heat.
  12. Simmer for 25 minutes, and rest for 5 minutes, before opening the lid.
  13. Garnish with parsley before serving.

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