Photos by and property of Royce Cara Berler. May be used with author’s permission.

Harissa Chicken Thighs With Shallots

Chicken thighs, bathed in a broth spike with spicy, earthy harissa, are at the heart of this quick,  flavorful weeknight dinner. Here, the chicken fat is smartly used to  saute shallots until just softened. (they’re finished off with the chicken, melting down the sauce.) If you don’t like spicy, don’t fret: A showering of fresh herbs and a good squeeze of lime nicely cuts the heat.


Yield: 4 Servings

1½ pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken

Kosher salt and black pepper

2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil

4-5 small shallots, ends trimmed, quartered, root to stem, and peeled

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 tablespoons ground cinnamon

1 to 1½ cups chicken stock, plus more as needed

¼ cup roughly chopped cilantro, leaves and tender stems

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1 lime, cut into wedges, for serving

Flaky salt, for serving (optional)


Step 1

Season chicken thighs well with salt and pepper. In a heavy-bottomed skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken thighs skin-side down and cook undisturbed until nicely browned, about 5 to 6 minutes. Flip and brown the other side, about 4 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Step 2

Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the pan and return to medium-low heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until they begin to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds more.

Step 3

Stir in harissa and cinnamon, and add back in the chicken and any residual juices. Pour in enough of the stock to come up to the chicken about halfway, and bring to a simmer. Partly cover and allow the chicken to finish cooking through, about 15 minutes more.

Step 4

Toss the chicken in the sauce until it’s nicely coated. Plate and top with cilantro and the scallions. Serve, spooning braising liquid.

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