Spicy Chicken Fires Up Dinner Time

Chicken is a versatile protein that can take center stage on any table. There are scores of ways to prepare chicken, and this recipe for “Pollo Harissa” is seasoned with a fiery, spicy mix that is truly aromatic. Enjoy it, courtesy of “España: Exploring the Flavors of Spain” (Gibbs Smith) by James Campbell Caruso.

Pollo Harissa
(Roasted Harissa Chicken with Couscous)
Serves 4

1 whole roasting chicken, rinsed
1 lemon, cut into 4 pieces
6 cloves garlic
Harissa (see below)
2 cups couscous
3 cups chicken stock

Heat the oven to 375 F. Fill chicken cavity with lemon pieces and garlic. Rub the chicken generously with harissa. Sprinkle with salt.

Put the couscous and chicken stock in an oven-safe baking dish. Place the dressed chicken on top. Bake covered for 45 minutes. Remove the cover and bake for another 15 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Serve with a tossed mix of cucumber, cilantro, lemon juice, and oil.


1 tablespoon coriander seed
1 tablespoon caraway seed
1 teaspoon cumin seed
4 large cloves garlic, unpeeled
4 large red bell peppers
1⁄2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons crushed New Mexico red chiles
Salt and pepper to taste

Stir coriander, caraway and cumin in a small skillet over medium-high heat until aromatic, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a food processor. Cook garlic in the same skillet, covered, over medium-low heat until tender, about 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Let garlic cool, then peel it and add to processor. Char bell peppers over a gas flame or in a broiler until blackened on all sides. Enclose in a paper bag; let stand 10 minutes. Peel, seed, and coarsely chop peppers. Add peppers, oil, sugar, and crushed red pepper to processor. Puree. Season with salt and pepper.

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