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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.
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!
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.
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.
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:
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