Let's Go: North-African Inspired Yogurt Chicken with Harissa and Cous Cous
Updated: Aug 25
This is a quick and easy idea for lunch or dinner that I did -- in which I incorporated new ingredients from different cultures.
Like many people, I got into puzzles during #quarantinelife. The puzzle I got was a World Map and I also used it to learn world geography. Check out that post! I need to get back into it! I started with Africa and looked up something for each country. I also learned more about the different types of foods in the different countries, which inspired me to try new ingredients.
I did my own variations on these recipes from ICAG (Alex Guarnaschelli) and Melissa D'Arabian from the Food Network. In the Yogurt Marinated Chicken w/ Harissa, there is a part to make your own harissa, I just bought some Harissa. :) In the recipe for cous cous, she uses dates. I didn't have dates, so I just substituted some raisins for some sweetness like dates.
What is Harissa?
"Harissa is a spicy and aromatic chile paste that’s a widely used staple in North African and Middle Eastern cooking.
Harissa recipes vary between countries and regions, but a standard version includes a blend of hot chile peppers (which are often smoked), garlic, olive oil and spices, like cumin, coriander, caraway and mint. Tomatoes and rose petals are also common ingredients."
What I used:
- Chicken breast
- Chili Flakes
- Ground Ginger
- Harissa Paste
- Cous cous
- Fresh basil
I've eaten cous cous a lot growing up. Here is some info on it in case you're not familiar with it.
"Couscous is crushed durum wheat semolina formed into small granules or spheres. It’s commonly served in North African, Moroccan, Tunisian, and Algerian cuisine. The less refined grain is sold in different varieties of couscous with interesting nutritional perks."
I just put the chicken breast in yogurt and spices and put it in the fridge overnight to marinate. It took no work -- like 1-2 min.
This was kind of a thick piece of chicken. I seared it on both sides and then I put it in the oven to finish it off and make sure the middle was cooked. I added some Harissa on top.
Left: The night before -- I just put this in the fridge; Center - searing the chicken; Right - chicken after it was cooked before adding Harissa
In the meantime, I made the cous cous (5 min.) and added some raisins and some fresh basil from my urban garden.
It was an easy way to incorporate new ingredients from new cultures into an everyday meal! I've started to use Harissa in different things since then too. :)
Give it a try! We are good at this!