Weekend Recipes

Harissa and Lime Chicken

Harissa and lime chicken

Middle Eastern food seems to be having a bit of a moment, with the likes of Yotam Ottolenghi and Sabrina Ghayour making it more accessible to recreate at home.

This chicken low-and-slow crock pot dish is given an Arabian twist with harissa, a spice synonymous with Middle Eastern cuisine.

You’ll need:

  • Whole chicken legs
  • Juice and zest of two limes
  • Diced onion
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 400g chopped tin tomatoes or passata
  • Two tbsp harissa
  • Pinch of cumin
  • Two garlic cloves, crushed
  • Sprinkling of dried barberries (or cranberries)


Start this dish by browning the chicken first in a little olive oil on a medium heat. Once the skin has taken on a slight golden colour, take off the heat and put to one side.

The sauce of this dish starts much like a bolognese. Using a casserole or crock pot, sauté the chopped onions on a medium heat until soft. Add the crushed garlic cloves and tomatoes and allow to simmer. Add your chicken stock at this stage, harissa and a pinch of cumin to taste.

On a medium heat, add your browned chicken back into the crock pot adding a bit of water until the chicken is about 3/4 submerged.

Grate the zest of your two limes and add to the pot before squeezing out the juice and also adding.

Pop the lid on, lower the heat and the chicken is ready to slow cook for an hour, or until the meat falls off the bone.

Tip: For crispy skin, you can also bake the chicken legs for an hour on 180°. Just splash with a bit of olive oil and season.

About ten minutes before serving, add a few barberries for a slightly tart burst of colour and flavour. Again, these are traditionally used in Middle Eastern cooking but if you can’t find them, dried cranberries are a good alternative.

Ready to serve! This works well with roasted butternut squash, salad, rice, cous cous or pulses.

Harissa and lime chicken

© All photography and views expressed in this blog are my own. For more information, and for details of my editorial policy, please see my blog disclaimer.


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