Moroccan Red Harissa Chicken

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 hr 5 min
  • Active: 55 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Nutrition Info
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3 red bell peppers

3 red chile peppers such as Fresno or Holland finger peppers 

2 tablespoons olive oil 

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs 

Salt and pepper

Salt and pepper 

3 cloves garlic, chopped 

1 bay leaf 

1 small piece cinnamon stick or a pinch ground cinnamon 

1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and grated or pasted 

1 onion, finely chopped 

2 teaspoons smoked sweet paprika (2/3 palmful)

1 teaspoon ground cumin (1/3 palmful)

White wine vinegar 

2 1/2 cups chicken stock 

1 tablespoon butter 

1 1/4 cups basmati or other white long grain rice 

Thinly sliced scallions, for garnish 


  1. Char the bell and chile peppers under a hot broiler until the skins are evenly blackened. Place in a bowl and cover to cool to handle. Wipe the charred skins away with paper towels and seed the peppers. Reserve for later use.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil. Sprinkle the chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides. Add the chicken to the hot oil and brown on both sides, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate and reduce the heat a bit. Add the garlic, bay leaf, cinnamon, ginger, onions, paprika, cumin and some salt and pepper, and cook to soften a bit, stirring occasionally. Add a splash of vinegar.
  3. Place the peeled peppers in the bowl of a food processor with 1 cup of the stock, and process until pureed. Add the puree to the pan, thin with about 1/2 cup water and slide the chicken back into the pan. Reduce the heat to a simmer and finish cooking the chicken through. Turn off heat and cover until you serve.
  4. To serve, heat the remaining 1 1/2 cups stock (or 1 cup stock and 1/2 cup water) and the butter to a boil with the rice. Bring to a bubble, then reduce the heat to low and cover. Simmer the rice for about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand 5 to 10 minutes, then fluff with fork.
  5. In shallow bowls, top the rice with the chicken in spicy sauce, garnish with scallions before serving.
  6. Get Rachael's shopping list for this episode's recipes here.
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