Harissa Marinade

This second belated grilling post I would like to share is a marinade which is simple to make and fabulously full-flavored. It’s hard to ask for more! 🙂

The first time I prepared it was for a farewell party for friends moving to Florida. I marinated chicken thighs and grilled them cubed, on skewers, so that it would be easier to eat them without sitting down. We served them alongside Palestinian Chicken skewers, using one of my all-time favorite marinades.

The second time, I marinated whole chicken tenders. Even easier! 🙂 Just as delicious too. This recipe was adapted from Zahav: A World of Israeli Cooking by Michael Solomon and Steven Cook. In both cases, I served the grilled chicken with Tzatziki.

  • 1 1/2 cups roughly chopped yellow onions (I used 2 medium)
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup harissa (I used Whole Foods powdered harissa)
  • 3 T fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs or chicken tenderloins
  • bamboo skewers, soaked in water for 30 to 6o minutes
  • tzatziki, for serving, as desired (link above)
  1. Combine the ingredients in a blender or Vitamix.
  2. Puree until the mixture is smooth and as thick as a milkshake.
  3. Toss 2 pounds of skinless, boneless, chicken thighs cut into 1-inch chunks with the marinade in a 1-gallon ziplock bag.
  4. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or for up to 2 days.
  5. When ready to grill, wipe off the excess marinade, thread the chicken pieces on prepared skewers.
  6. Grill over direct heat until the chicken is lightly charred on the exterior and is cooked through, about 8 minutes total.
  7. Serve with tzatziki, as desired.

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Chicken Meunière

Did I mention that I was feeling the need to transport myself to France? My mom and brother were just there on a special trip. Those of us left behind were trying to feel better by eating some French food. 🙂

I actually made this dish as an afterthought… I knew that I wanted to make Pear Clafoutis for dessert and wanted a suitable main dish! Like Clafoutis, (post to follow…), this is an elegant weeknight dish. They were a perfect match.

This recipe was adapted from the New York Times, contributed by Mark Bittman. We ate it with roasted asparagus, lemon slices, and brown Basmati rice. Lovely.

Yield: Serves 4

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds chicken tenderloins (about 12)
  • coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 to 1 cup (approximately) all-purpose flour, panko, or cornmeal for dredging
  • 4 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, separated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  1. Heat a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat for about 2 minutes. (I used cast iron.) While it is heating, sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper, and place the flour, panic, or cornmeal in a 8×8-inch baking pan or pie dish.
  2. Place the oil and 2 T butter in the skillet, and turn the heat to medium-high. When the oil is hot and the butter has melted, dredge the cutlets in the coating, turning them a few times and pressing them down so they are well covered. After you dredge each, add it to the pan.
  3. Cook until the chicken is nicely brown, 3 to 4 minutes, then turn. Cook 2 to 4 minutes until the chicken is firm to the touch (lower the heat if the coating begins to scorch).
  4. Meanwhile, melt the remaining 2 T butter over medium heat until it is nut-brown; set aside.
  5. When the chicken is done, drain it briefly on a paper towel, then transfer to a warm platter.
  6. Drizzle with lemon juice, and top with half the parsley. At the last-minute, pour the browned butter over the chicken, add the remaining parsley and serve.

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Jacques Pepin’s Chicken in Mustard Sauce

One reason to welcome cooler weather is that it’s mustard chicken season! 🙂 This saucy dish is an absolute favorite in our house. I had to try Jacques Pepin’s version, of course. It was quick and elegant.

This recipe was adapted from the New York Times. I used chicken tenders instead of chicken breasts and reduced the cooking time. I will have to admit that next time I would make it with chicken thighs instead- just our personal preference.

We ate it with roasted potatoes and beets as well as Browned Butter Green Beans with Slivered Almonds. It would also be great with rice to soak up the sauce. Healthy and tasty.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

  • 2 pounds of chicken breast tenders or boneless skinless chicken thighs
  • ½ tsp coarse salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 T vegetable oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 2 T all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 ½ tsp dry mustard
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  1. Sprinkle the chicken with the salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When it is hot, brown the chicken for one minute on each side, just to brown.
  3. Mix in the onion and continue cooking for one minute.
  4. Sprinkle the flour on the chicken pieces, turning them so that all the pieces are coated. Cook one minute to lightly brown the flour.
  5. Add the water and stir to dissolve the flour until the mixture comes to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the skillet and boil gently for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Remove the meat to a serving platter and keep warm.
  7. Cook the sauce to reduce it to about one-and-a-half cups.
  8. Mix the dry mustard with the Dijon mustard and stir until smooth. Stir the mustard mixture into the sauce and heat, but do not allow the sauce to boil after the mustard has been added.
  9. Place the chicken pieces in the sauce and warm over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes to develop the flavor.
  10. Serve the chicken with the sauce.

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