At long last, an attempt at North African cuisine! This dish here checked all the right boxes; it was very easy to make (threw everything in a large baking dish and let it do its thing in the oven), it was tasty and different and quite light. The flavor of Harissa is very distinctive and absolutely delicious and can add that extra bit of zing to your mid-week repertoire. The chicken (kept moist by the yoghurt marinade) coupled with the sharpness of the baked lemon slices, the sweetness of the raisins and onions and the nutty taste of roasted almonds all came together to make an unassuming yet very delicious dish. Recipe after the jump.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
For the Chicken
About 4 medium skinned chicken breast fillets
200g of good quality full cream yoghurt
1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, grated
2 large garlic cloves, grated
2 tbsp of harissa paste
Mix all components together and then cover the chicken with the marinade. Leave in the fridge for at least a couple of hours.
For the vegetables
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into large-ish cubes
1 medium brown onion, peeled and cut into 1/8ths
1/2 of a large lemon sliced into 4 or 5 thick slices
1 handful of peeled and unsalted almonds
1 handful of golden raisins
2 tablespoons of harissa paste
2 tablespoons of olive oil
In a large bowl, simply toss all the ingredients together, making sure they’re evenly coated with the harissa. Place all the veg into a medium baking dish (large enough for everything to site there comfortably, but not too spread out) and stick them into the oven for 10 mins, uncovered.
Once the vegetables are in the oven, take the chicken out of the fridge and allow them to slowly come up to room temperature. After 10 minutes, take the vegetables out, season them with salt and pepper and lay the chicken breasts over them, drizzling any remaining marinade onto the dish. Place back into the oven, covered for about 15mins and then allow to cook uncovered for another 10mins. Test the chicken breast done-ness with a fork, you want them cooked through but not dry. If you feel that they still need a bit of time, just turn off the heat and keep them in the oven while you set the table, about 5-10mins.
Once done, just take the dish out and serve immediately, you should be onto a winner here. Hope you enjoy.