This spicy North African–style marinade adds a chilli kick to grilled chicken, as well as a sweet, smoky flavour. Served with a simple scoop of couscous and a dollop of fire-quelling yoghurt, chicken off the grill never tasted so good. Your local butcher will butterfly the chicken if you ask them nicely.
Handful of medium-heat red chillies (such as Serrano), tops removed
4 garlic cloves, peeled
3 teaspoons cumin seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, toasted
1 teaspoon ground smoked paprika
Handful of cherry tomatoes
60ml (¼ cup) olive oil
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 medium free-range, pasture-fed chicken, butterflied
200ml chicken stock, boiling hot
Knob of butter
Salt and pepper
200ml natural yoghurt
Extra-virgin olive oil
Small handful each of mint and coriander leaves, roughly torn
Lemon wedges, to serve
Put the chillies, garlic, cumin and coriander seeds, paprika and cherry tomatoes in a food processor. Pulse until a paste starts to form. Add the olive oil, half the lemon juice and zest and a generous pinch of salt and pulse again until combined but not completely smooth. If you don’t have a food processor you can smash everything together in a large mortar and pestle.
Lay the chicken out in a deep-sided dish and season with salt. Coat with the harissa marinade and rub it all over. If you have the time, place in the fridge to marinate for a couple of hours.
Heat the chargrill plate of the barbecue over a medium–high heat and place the chicken on, skin-side down. Cook until the skin is charred and then turn over and repeat for the other side. If the skin is charring and the flesh still isn’t cooked, move the chicken to a cooler part of the plate and grill for around 15–20 minutes, turning occasionally, until it’s cooked through.
Meanwhile, place the couscous in a heat-proof bowl, pour over the hot chicken stock, cover and allow to stand for 10 minutes. Then toss in a knob of butter, season with salt and pepper and fluff with a fork.
To make the yoghurt dressing, combine the yoghurt, remaining lemon zest and juice and a large pinch of salt in a small bowl, then stir to combine. Drizzle over a little extra-virgin olive oil and stir through. Scatter with some of the mint leaves.
To serve, place couscous on a large plate and top with the grilled chicken. Scatter over the rest of the mint and the coriander leaves and serve with the yoghurt dressing and lemon wedges on the side.
Recipe and images taken from The River Cottage Australia Cookbook, Bloomsbury, $45.00.
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