Spicy and Fragrant Moroccan Harissa Grilled Chicken

Meat Dishes

Moroccan harissa grilled chickenMoroccan harissa grilled chicken
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Transport yourself to a different world with the bold and vibrant flavors of authentic Middle Eastern cuisine. Join me as I step into a charming restaurant in Springfield, Virginia, and experience the magic of Moroccan harissa grilled chicken. From the inviting atmosphere to the warm hospitality and unforgettable flavors, this is a dining experience you won’t miss. Furthermore, as a bonus, I’ll even share the chef’s recipe for recreating this delicious dish at home!

As I walked into this Middle Eastern restaurant in Springfield, Virginia, the restaurant’s inviting atmosphere immediately struck me. The soft glow of the lighting, the beautiful Arabic music playing in the background, and the intricate decorations on the walls all added to the place’s charm.

I was with a group of friends, and we quickly settled into our seats, eagerly looking through the menu. The menu was extensive, with various dishes from different parts of the Middle East. We debated what to order but finally settled on the Moroccan harissa grilled chicken, which the waiter recommended.

Finally, our meal arrived, and we were not disappointed. The dish was beautifully presented on a bed of fragrant basmati rice and fresh vegetables. Moreover, she cooked the chicken perfectly. It was juicy, and tender with a subtle hint of smokiness from the grill. Furthermore, the harissa marinade was the dish’s highlight, with just the right amount of heat and spices.

Meanwhile, we noticed that a food critic had entered the restaurant as we were enjoying our meal. The waiter told us he was there to review the restaurant, which made us a bit nervous. We wanted our experience to be authentic and hoped the kitchen could meet the critic’s expectations.

As we finished our meal, I couldn’t resist asking the chef for the recipe for the Moroccan chicken. To my surprise, she agreed to share it with me. She wrote it down on paper, adding tips and tricks to help me recreate the dish at home.

This grilled chicken showcases a delectable combination of ingredients that infuse the meat with vibrant flavors. This recipe calls for organic chicken drumsticks and chicken breast, ensuring quality. Fresh tomatoes can be included for added freshness, though they are optional. The marinade comprises harissa sauce (such as Red Mina Harissa Sauce), turmeric powder, olive oil, lemon juice, coriander powder, cumin powder, minced garlic cloves, and chopped fresh mint or coriander. Celtic salt adds a touch of seasoning to enhance the taste profile. When these ingredients come together, they create a mouthwatering dish that tantalizes the taste buds.

When it comes to serving, several delectable accompaniments perfectly complement its bold and spicy flavors. Here are some suggestions on what to serve alongside this delicious dish. For example,

Couscous: Fluffy and light, couscous makes an ideal pairing. Serve it plain or seasoned with herbs like parsley, mint, or cilantro for added freshness.

Moroccan Salad: Prepare a refreshing Moroccan salad with a combination of vegetables. For example, chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, red onions, and fresh herbs like parsley and mint. Dress it with a tangy vinaigrette made from lemon juice, olive oil, and Moroccan spices.

Grilled Vegetables: Grill a medley of colorful vegetables. such as zucchini, bell peppers, eggplant, and cherry tomatoes. The smoky flavors of the grilled veggies complement the spiciness of the harissa chicken.

Yogurt Sauce: Prepare a cool and creamy yogurt sauce to balance the heat of the harissa marinade. Mix plain Greek yogurt with minced garlic, chopped mint, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Drizzle it over the grilled chicken for a refreshing touch.

Moroccan Bread: Serve warm Moroccan bread. such as Khobz or Batbout, on the side. The bread’s soft texture is perfect for sopping up the delicious juices and flavors of the grilled chicken.

Roasted Potatoes: Roast small potatoes with olive oil, garlic, and Moroccan spices like paprika, cumin, and coriander. The crispy and seasoned potatoes make a delightful accompaniment.

Mint Tea: End your meal with traditional Moroccan mint tea. Its refreshing and aromatic flavors will cleanse your palate and complete the Moroccan dining experience.

Consequently, these suggested pairings will elevate your grilled chicken to a memorable and satisfying meal.

Finally, here is how I create Moroccan harissa grilled chicken at home.


  • 3 pounds of chicken drumsticks (organic preferred)
  • 3 pounds of chicken breast (organic preferred)
  • Fresh tomatoes (optional but preferred)

For the marinade:

How to create Moroccan harissa grilled chicken?

Moroccan harissa grilled chicken

  1. To prepare the dish, gather all the required ingredients and equipment. Additionally, you will need ingredients such as olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, paprika, cumin, and salt for the marinade. Place these ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix them thoroughly until the marinade becomes consistent.
  2. Next, take the chicken breast, ensuring you have removed the drumstick, and lay it between two sheets of plastic wrap. With a meat tenderizer, pound the chicken until it becomes thin and uniform in thickness. This step is essential as it helps the chicken cook evenly and quickly. Additionally, lightly score each chicken piece 2-3 times with a sharp knife, allowing the marinade to seep into the meat.
  3. After pounding the chicken, add the breast and drumsticks to the marinade mixing bowl. Use your hands to toss the chicken with the marinade, ensuring each piece is evenly coated. Allow the chicken to rest at room temperature for an hour or cover and refrigerate overnight to allow the marinade to penetrate the meat, enhancing its flavor fully.
  4. After marinating the chicken, heat your grill to the desired temperature. You can use a gas or charcoal grill, depending on your preference. Once the grill is hot, add the chicken pieces and cook them over medium to low heat. The cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the chicken pieces and the type of grill used. Typically, cooking the chicken thoroughly takes 5-7 minutes on each side.
  5. During the last few minutes of cooking, you can add sliced tomatoes and lemons to the grill to serve alongside the chicken. This adds an extra layer of flavor and freshness to the dish. After done cooking the chicken, please remove it from the grill and rest for a few minutes before serving.

I hope this story has helped you learn how to make Moroccan harissa grilled chicken at home. Middle Eastern cuisine is known for its bold and vibrant flavors, and it’s an experience that everyone should try at least once. I hope this article has inspired you to explore this incredible cuisine and try new dishes. Don’t be afraid to experiment with spices and flavors in your cooking, and remember to share your love of food and culture with your friends and family. Until next time, happy cooking!

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