18/11/2012

Harissa Chicken with Cauliflower Couscous


Harissa is a Tunisian spice paste made from a blend of chillis, garlic, herbs and other spices.

Rose Harissa is a gourmet paste that has the inclusion of rose petals, giving a deep colour as well as offsetting the unnecessary burn of the chilli.

The result? One seriously flavoursome paste which retains a good kick!

There are a number of recipes that you could follow to make your own Harissa, but they're all pretty much grinding down chillis, garlic, herbs and spices down in a pestle and mortar, adding in rose petals, grinding some more and softening it all up with oil.

I buy mine. I like the Belazu brand: "Rose petals are one of over forty spices added to give this paste its unique aroma and complex, yet unmistakably spicy, taste. Harissa was originally a staple of Tunisian cooking but is used throughout North Africa as a seasoning or condiment. It has a hot kick to it but the rose petals in the sauce provide a unique balance to the chilli heat."

Harissa can be spread over meat and roasted, added to soups and stews, spread over flat bread, the options almost limitless.

Here's we're simply going to lather the chicken in Harissa and let it marinate ...

I had some chicken thighs which were covered in the paste, lemon juice and left to marinate in the fridge overnight.

When ready to cook, just place them onto an ovenproof plate and cook through at 200C (400F) for 45 minutes.


Meanwhile, make the couscous ...

Couscous, of Berber origin (Seksu, meaning well rolled, formed and rounded), couscous is made from millet so not a lot of use to paleo people.

One obvious substitution is cauliflower couscous, florets simply steamed, crushed and then dried and coloured up in a dry frying pan.

Serve out onto a plate with a good helping of couscous, the chicken over the top and some vegetables alongside.

4 comments :

  1. Tried this recipe last night. First time using harissa paste, was really tasty! http://instagr.am/p/SbI6CVFp71/

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    1. Looking good! Did you use the Belazu brand?

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  2. Yeah I picked some up from Waitrose. Have you tried any of their other pastes? They got some interesting sounding ones on the website.

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    1. I don't think so ... I used to enjoy their Smoked Chilli Jelly prior to paleo, on bread with some cheese.

      I usually make up my own, but the Harissa is something special. Maybe if I bought my Mrs red roses more often, we'd have all the necessary ingredients floating about :)

      They do seem a good company with strong standards.

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