Spice up your chicken dinner with this quick and easy recipe. These barbequed harissa chicken strips are super flavorful and on your table in under 30 minutes!
Summer vacation is pretty much over and school is starting next week. My older ones will be doing online college classes and the younger 2 are homeschooling. Well, Eisa takes classes in a homeschool private coop twice a week. Why am I telling you this? Right, haha! Let me get back to my main point. Basically, we’re gonna be very busy again. So, for the next few weeks, I will be sharing easy and delicious recipes like this one that can either be made ahead (freezer-friendly) or ready in under an hour.
This barbecued harissa chicken recipe is ready in 30 minutes (from start to finish). You can marinate it and refrigerate it overnight. However, this marinade is filled with so many bold flavors that you can easily put it all together and throw it on the grill. The sweet, smokey, and warm flavors in the harissa sauce are packed with flavor. Then, we add even more goodness with extra garlic and spices.
Make the Greek Couscous Salad in the time that the chicken in cooking and you will have a delicious meal ready in no-time that the whole family will love.
Watch the full video tutorial here:
What is harissa?
Harissa is a Tunisian sauce that is made from roasted sweet red peppers, garlic, warm spices, and a kick of heat from spicy chilies. It is commonly sold in Middle Eastern & Mediterranean grocery stores and can also be made at home with a few basic ingredients. I wrote a post all about this flavorful sauce and how to make it and you can read all about it right here.
Here’s everything that you will need to make this Harissa Chicken
- Harissa sauce (store-bought or homemade)
- chicken strips (tenderloins or boneless breast meat cut into strips) or your favorite cut of chicken
- fresh garlic cloves
- ground coriander
- ground cumin
- smoked paprika
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- fresh mint
Can I use other cuts of chicken?
Yes, of course! As a matter of fact, my favorite cut of chicken to use in pretty much any grilled chicken recipe is boneless skinless chicken thigh meat. It’s much less expensive than boneless breast and stays juicy even if it’s overcooked. Feel free to use a whole chicken with the bone-in that has been cut into pieces. However, keep in mind that if you use a different cut, the cooking time changes. Chicken with the bone-in takes much longer to cook. All chicken is safe to eat at 165 °F and the best way to check for doneness is with an instant-read thermometer. Buy one here (affiliate)
Grilling time for different cuts of chicken
- Chicken Breast (boneless skinless) will take about 5-7 minutes per side.
- Chicken Breast (bone-in) will take about 30 – 40 minutes total.
- Chicken Thighs (boneless) will take about 15 minutes total.
- Chicken Thighs (bone-in) will take 30-40 minutes total.
- Spatchcocked Whole Chicken will take 45 minutes to an hour total.
The best way to check for doneness is with a meat thermometer. For bone-in chicken cuts insert the thermometer in the thicker part of the meat and it should register 165 °F.
Make this chicken in the oven.
Don’t have a grill? No problem! Use the broiler setting in your oven.
To use the broiler, set the broiler to the highest temperature, and make sure your oven rack is as close to the heating element as it will go. Put a cooling rack on top of a baking tray and put the chicken on top of the cooling rack. I’ve tried cooking the chicken directly on a baking tray and the chicken does not come out as juicy. All of the juices and fat drip down to the bottom and then you’re left with that delicious juicy chicken. So, use a cooling rack if you have one.
Cook the chicken under the broiler for 10 to 12 minutes, flipping the chicken over about halfway through. The chicken will get nice and golden brown. Let it sit and rest for about 10 minutes and serve.
What to serve with this Grilled Harissa Chicken
I love a nice salad with my harissa chicken. My favorite salad that complements the bold flavors of harissa and turns this into a complete meal is a Greek Couscous Salad. Simple to make and ready in 10 minutes. If you’re trying to keep your diet gluten-free then feel free to substitute the couscous for quinoa or lentils. Beans would be great too! Here are some great sides that pair well with the harissa chicken:
- Greek Couscous Salad
- Lentil Tabbouleh Salad
- Mediterranean Rice Pilaf
- Lemony Roasted Potatoes
- Greek Cabbage Salad
What to do with leftovers
The grilled chicken will keep fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 days. You can also freeze it in freezer safe bags up to 3 months.
Use the leftover chicken to pack in lunch boxes. It is delicious in:
- make shawarma sandwiches with it
- add it to stews and soups
- serve over rice or salad
- use it as a pizza topping
- add it to a pasta dish
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I hope that you enjoy this grilled chicken recipe with your loved ones. Let me know what you think in the comments section and I will be back here soon with another delicious recipe worth sharing. Na eiste kala (be well) & kali orexi! -Dimitra
- 2 pounds chicken breast tenders or strips
- For the marinade:
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/3 cup harissa sauce
- 4-5 garlic cloves, grated
- Salt, to taste
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- Garnish: fresh mint
Place the chicken strips in a large mixing bowl.
Make the Marinade: Combine the olive oil, honey, and balsamic vinegar in a mixing bowl and whisk together until smooth.
Pour the wet marinade over the chicken and then add the remaining seasonings. Season to taste with salt and mix well so that all of the chicken is coated.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.
Allow the chicken to come to room temperature and preheat the grill over medium-high heat.
Grill the chicken for 5-6 minutes per side. It is ready when the internal temperature reaches
Transfer the chicken to a serving plate and cover with foil. Garnish the chicken with chopped fresh mint. Allow the chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes and serve with couscous salad. Enjoy!