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Harissa Chicken and Rice

Every month our mosque has a potluck for the community.  Living in rural Wisconsin the Muslim community here isn’t overwhelmingly large (though probably larger than you might think) so it is intimate enough to talk and eat knowing full well what everyone brought.

Because we are a small community there isn’t one ethnic group that is in the majority which makes the potluck even more fun because there is food from all over the world! We’ve got Pakistan, Egypt, Turkey, Bulgaria, Morocco, Guinea, Algeria, Libya, and more just to name a few.

This also means there is lots of pressure to keep up.  As the non-ethnic wife I’m expected to either a) bring an amazing Moroccan dish or b)bring soda pop.  There’s really no wiggle room in there.  I’ve worn out most of my recipes so I scratched my head all day until 3pm only a few hours before the potluck.  I gave up and mixed together a bunch of things I had in the fridge.

This ended up being a big hit with everyone including my husband and it was completely random.  I love when that happens!  I’m going to be really honest when I say I didn’t measure anything.  I really wasn’t hopeful this would turn out!  So I’ll give you a list of ingredients and some basic steps but don’t quote me on this one!


  • harissa
  • cumin
  • salt
  • onion (chopped)
  • garlic
  • tumeric
  • Italian parsley (fresh, chopped)
  • lemon juice
  • olive oil
  • 2 lbs of chicken pieces with the skin on


Mix all of the spices, onion, garlic, parsley, and lemon juice together, and drizzle in enough olive oil to make a medium thin paste.

In a large bowl add the washed chicken and pour the spice mixture on top.

Massage the chicken and refrigerate covered for 1 hour up to 24 hours.

When ready to cook, preheat an oven to 375F, and place chicken in a pan large enough to lay each piece flat.

Cook for 45 minutes and check to see if the chicken has cooked through.

When it is finished, turn the oven onto broil and broil the chicken 5-10 minutes to crisp the outside skin.  Serve over rice.

I love when I come up with easy, go to dishes like this.  It can take on a completely different taste each time that I make it.  What is your favorite adaptable dish?

Looking for more easy Moroccan recipes? Check out the link!

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Saturday 19th of October 2019

Are measurements not necessary?

Amanda Mouttaki

Monday 21st of October 2019

I truly just did this one by feel and didn't measure - when it comes to harissa especially it's kind of up to you how spicy you like things or not and not all harissas are the same heat level so you'll want to adjust as works for you.

Annelies van der Poel

Saturday 25th of June 2016

Hi Amanda, I would love to have the recipe of Maroccan bread. I can' t find it on your site. Just made the Harira.....Great!!!!!

Amanda Mouttaki

Tuesday 28th of June 2016

Sure you can get it here! https://marocmama.com/khobz-moroccan-bread/

Lisa @ Snappy Gourmet

Thursday 5th of April 2012

This chicken looks delicious and just reminded me that I have harissa in my cupboard that I need to use!!


Thursday 5th of April 2012

It's great - let me know what you think :)


Tuesday 22nd of November 2011

How do you prepare your rice? Do you do the soak thing? I assume you use basmati, right? :) Looks delicious!


Wednesday 23rd of November 2011

I usually rinse the rice and use whatever I have on hand - usually either a short grain rice. To be truthful I just boil it until it's tender!

Common Cents Mom » Menu Monday and a Giveaway

Friday 16th of September 2011

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