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Harissa Honey Chicken


Harissa honey chicken is a tantalizing dish that combines the fiery heat of harissa with the natural sweetness of honey. This fusion creates a perfect balance of flavors, making it a standout meal for any occasion. This guide will delve into the recipe, its variations, and tips to ensure you get the best results every time.

What is Harissa Honey Chicken?

Harissa honey chicken is a delightful dish that showcases the complex flavors of harissa and honey. Harissa, a North African chili paste, is known for its vibrant and spicy flavor profile. Combining this with honey creates a sweet and spicy glaze that enhances the flavor of the chicken. To learn more about harissa, visit What is Harissa? on The Spruce Eats and How to Cook with Harissa on Bon Appétit.

Ingredients and Their Importance

For the perfect harissa honey chicken, you’ll need:

  • Harissa: Available as a paste or powder, harissa adds a deep, spicy flavor.
  • Honey: Provides sweetness to balance the heat.
  • Chicken: Thighs, breasts, or drumsticks work well.
  • Garlic: Enhances the flavor with its aromatic profile.
  • Lemon: Adds a tangy brightness.
  • Olive oil: Helps in marinating and cooking.
  • Spices and herbs: Complements and enhances the dish.

Step-by-Step Harissa Honey Chicken Recipe

Here’s how to make harissa honey chicken:

  • Ingredients:
    • 1/4 cup harissa paste
    • 3 tablespoons honey
    • 2 pounds chicken thighs
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Marinate the chicken: In a bowl, mix harissa, honey, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken and coat well. Marinate for at least 1 hour, preferably overnight.
  2. Prepare the harissa honey sauce: Reserve some of the marinade to brush on the chicken while cooking.
  3. Cooking methods:
    • Grilling: Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Grill the chicken for 6-8 minutes per side, brushing with the reserved marinade.
    • Baking: Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the chicken on a baking sheet and bake for 25-30 minutes.
    • Stovetop: Heat a skillet over medium heat and cook the chicken for 6-8 minutes per side.

For a detailed recipe, check out Harissa Chicken Recipe on Serious Eats.

Variations and Substitutions

Customize your harissa honey chicken with these variations:

  • Different cuts of chicken: Use wings or a whole chicken.
  • Vegetarian and vegan alternatives: Substitute with tofu or cauliflower.
  • Substituting ingredients: Use maple syrup instead of honey or sriracha instead of harissa.
  • Adjusting the spice level: Modify the amount of harissa for a milder or spicier dish.

Tips for Serving Harissa Honey Chicken

Pair your harissa honey chicken with:

  • Side dishes: Rice, couscous, or salads.
  • Presentation tips: Garnish with fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro.
  • Beverage pairings: Serve with wines, beers, or non-alcoholic drinks.

Nutritional Information and Health Benefits

Harissa honey chicken offers a nutritious meal:

  • Caloric content and serving sizes: Moderate in calories, depends on chicken cut.
  • Health benefits of harissa: Rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Benefits of honey: Natural sweetener with antibacterial properties.
  • Nutritional comparison: Thighs have more fat than breasts but are juicier and more flavorful.

FAQs About Harissa Honey Chicken

  • What is the best type of harissa to use?
    • Harissa paste is preferred for its rich flavor and ease of use.
  • Can I make this dish ahead of time?
    • Yes, marinate the chicken ahead of time and cook when ready.
  • How do I store and reheat leftovers?
    • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat in the oven or microwave.
  • Can I use this marinade on other meats or vegetables?
    • Absolutely, it’s versatile for various meats and veggies.
  • Is harissa honey chicken suitable for kids?
    • Adjust the spice level to make it kid-friendly.

Creative Ways to Use Leftover Harissa Honey Chicken

Utilize leftovers in:

  • Salads and wraps
  • Tacos and quesadillas
  • Stir-fry dishes
  • Adding to soups and stews

For more ideas on chicken recipes, you might enjoy the Mastering the Art of Cooking Chicken guide, which offers extensive tips and techniques. Additionally, the Smothered Chicken Recipe provides a comforting dish that can complement your culinary repertoire. If you’re interested in exploring more unique flavors, check out the Chicken al Pastor Chipotle Recipe for another delicious option.

Cultural Significance and Popularity

Harissa is a staple in North African cuisine, and its popularity has grown worldwide. Modern cooking often fuses harissa with various ingredients, creating unique dishes like harissa honey chicken. This dish is now popular in both restaurants and home kitchens.


Harissa honey chicken is a flavorful and versatile dish that can be customized to suit any palate. By following the tips and variations provided, you can create a meal that’s both delicious and nutritious. Share your experiences and enjoy the delightful fusion of sweet and spicy flavors.

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