Juicy harissa chicken thighs marinated in North African harissa and spices served alongside yellow turmeric jasmine rice will take you on a trip straight to North Africa!
Somedays I get in the kitchen and have no idea what I want to make. When this happens I usually just start playing around with different spice combinations until I’ve come up with something, and that is how these harissa chicken thighs were born.
I love harissa. It’s the perfect spicy condiment; almost like a spicy ketchup. It’s a North African hot chili pepper paste made with roasted red peppers, Baklouti pepper, serrano peppers and other hot chili peppers, spices, and herbs. One of my favorite brands to use is Entube Harissa paste, and that’s what I used in this recipe.You can use any cut of chicken you like, but the reason I went with chicken thighs is because they are a moist cut of meat, and hold up really well when grilling. Also to amp up the flavor, instead of only using the harissa paste to marinate the chicken; I used a spice rub of garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, cumin, and cinnamon. Flavor to the MAX! The perfect accompaniment to these harissa chicken thighs? Yellow Jasmine rice! Jasmine rice on it’s own is so aromatic and has such a great flavor. It’s one of my favorite rices to use whenever I make curries, like this coconut curry stew, and I use it in whenever I make rice and peas.
What gives the jasmine rice it’s yellow color is turmeric, and I added it to take the flavor level in jasmine rice to the next level! Adding some cumin, turmeric, and a touch of cinnamon makes this aromatic rice even more aromatic, and you won’t be able to go back to eating plain old white rice. At least, it’s been very difficult for me.
The reason why these chicken thighs and yellow jasmin rice go so well together is because we used the same spices and ingredients, but the harissa really takes it over the top. Check out the recipe below!
- 3 tsp Harissa paste (I used Entube brand)
- 4 chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon paprika
- ½ tablespoon onion powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- salt and black peppet to taste
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 medium sized onion, chopped
- 2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 2 cups uncooked long grain jasmine rice
- 3 cups chicken broth
- 1 bay leaf
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a small bowl combine the garlic powder, paprika, onion powder, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and pepper to make a spice rub.
- Add the chicken thighs to a large ziplock bag, then add the spice rub to the bag. Seal the bag, and mix around making sure all the chicken is coated with the spice rub.
- Place the thigs skin side up on a large baking sheet. Baste the chicken with the harissa paste and cook in the oven for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, flip the chicken and baste the chicken again with the harissa paste and cook for a remainder of 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and garnish with cilantro and jalapenos, if desired.
- Add the butter, onions, garlic, turmeric, cumin, and cinnamon to a large pot. Sauté over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, just until the onions and garlic have softened.
- Add the dry rice to the pot. Stir and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes to toast the rice.
- Add the chicken broth and bay leaf to the pot. Increase the heat to high, and bring the pot to a boil.Once the rice begins to boil, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer with the lid on for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, turn the heat off and let it rest for an additional 10 minutes. Do not remove the lid.
- Fluff with a fork and serve.