Harissa chicken with crispy skin and pearl barley salad
pennywisepantry - Middle Eastern

Harissa chicken with crispy skin and pearl barley salad

Lizzie from the Pennywise Pantry has teamed up with us to write three spice laden recipes, guaranteed to give superb flavour, and maximum bang for your buck. Her passion is creating healthy, gourmet food, using humbler ingredients that don’t cost the earth. Making the most of cheaper cuts of meat, and limiting waste is Lizzie’s passion, and being creative with spices is a feature of many of her recipes.

Chicken thighs are a more economical alternative to breast, and buying the skin- on option means you can make crispy chicken skin to crumble over the top. Thighs on the bone give maximum flavour as well as succulent flesh, and leaving the marinade to permeate the meat for at least 12 hours means super tasty chicken. The salad is a zingy accompaniment to the meat, though of course, it can be enjoyed without.

Serves : 4


For the Chicken:

6-8 chicken thighs, on the bone, skin removed but retained

1 tablespoon rapeseed oil

2 tablespoons natural yogurt

1 garlic clove

½ lemon, juiced

½ tsp rock salt

1 tablespoon Spice Kitchen Harissa powder

Fresh coriander, to garnish

For the Salad:

100g pearl barley

100g asparagus

Small head of broccoli, blanched

50g walnuts, chopped and toasted

Large handful of rocket leaves

1 tablespoon capers

½ lemon juiced

3 tablespoons extra virgin oil


Pound the garlic and rock salt in a pestle and mortar, slowly adding the spices, lemon juice, oil and yogurt until you have a smooth marinade. Cover the chicken thighs with the mixture and put in the fridge for at least 12 hours, or preferably overnight.

About an hour before eating, heat the oven to 180 degrees c. Rub a little rock salt and a pinch of the harissa powder into the skin and lay on a baking sheet. Put both the skin, and the thighs, into the oven, checking the skin after about 20 minutes (watch carefully as it easily browns). The thighs should take around 35-40 minutes to cook through. Foil may be needed to cover the meat and prevent burning.

Meanwhile, cook the pearl barley in salted water for about 25 minutes (it should retain a little bite). Drain and leave to cool. Blanch the broccoli and asparagus, again, ensuring they are cool. Mix the pearl barley, broccoli and asparagus with the rocket leaves and place in a large salad bowl. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, capers and seasoning. Pour over the salad, tossing well to coat, and finally, scatter over the walnuts.

When you are ready to eat, crumble the spicy, crunchy skin over the chicken thighs and add the chopped coriander. Serve alongside the salad.

For more recipes by Lizzie check out https://pennywisepantry.co.uk/.

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