Harissa Chicken Thighs with Pistachios & Olive Pilaf

Harissa Sticky Chicken with Pistachios & Olive Pilaf Recipe

35 Minutes
Serves: 2
Harissa chicken thighs coated in a lemon, butter and hot pepper harissa served with a pilaf of brown rice, red onion and cherry tomato salad peppered with pomegranate seeds, toasted pistachio and salted black olives served with creamy yoghurt.

Recipe Ingreds


  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 6 black olives
  • black pepper (to taste)
  • 200 grams cherry tomatoes
  • 0.5 tsp cumin seeds
  • 4 sprig fresh coriander
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 30 grams pistachio
  • 0.5 pomegranate
  • 1 packet microwave brown rice
  • 1 red onions
  • salt (to taste)


  • 10 grams butter
  • 4 chicken thighs
  • 4 tsp harissa paste
  • 4 tsp honey
  • 0.5 lemon
  • 30 ml natural yoghurt

Recipe with pictures Steps

Step 1

  • set the oven to 200C 400F or gas mark 6

Step 2

  • squeeze the lemon(s) .
  • melt the butter in a small pan
  • add the lemon juice
  • add the harissa paste
  • Add the honey and remove from the heat

Step 3

  • line baking tray with greaseproof paper
  • Add the chicken
  • loosen the chicken skin and using a pastry brush cover the meat in the marinade
  • coat the outer skin with marinade
  • add the remaining marinade to the baking tray
  • cover with foil
  • place in the oven
  • cook for 15 mins

Step 4

  • while the chicken is cooking

Step 5

  • heat the frying pan
  • add the oil
  • peel the red onion(s), chop in half
  • slice the red onions thinly
  • peel and crush the garlic using the garlic crusher or chop finely
  • add the onion and garlic to the frying pan
  • cook for a minute or two

Step 6

  • add the cumin to the frying pan with a splash of water
  • cook for 5 minutes
  • stir regularly

Step 7

  • chop the olives
  • wash the cherry tomatoes and then slice in half
  • add the olives and tomatoes to the frying pan
  • cook for 10 mins

Step 8

  • place the pistachios on a baking tray
  • place in the oven
  • cook for 5 minutes
  • remove the pistachios from the oven
  • stir occasionally

Step 9

  • check the meat in the oven add a spot of boiled water to the baking tray if the sauce is drying out
  • baste the meat
  • return to the oven without the foil

Step 10

  • add balsamic vinegar to the tomato mixture
  • cook for a minute or two

Step 11

  • warm the precooked rice by following the instructions
  • add the rice to the frying pan
  • taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary
  • cook for 5 minutes
  • stir regularly

Step 12

  • add the pistachios to the frying pan

Step 13

  • cut the pomegranate in half, hit the skin with a wooden spoon to release the seeds
  • wash and finely chop the fresh coriander

Step 14

  • remove the chicken from the oven
  • add the chicken to the plates

Step 15

  • share the contents of the pan equally between the serving plates
  • Sprinkle with pomegranate and coriander

Step 16

  • serve with a spoon of yogurt
  • serve immediately

Recipe Utensils

  • 3 baking tray
  • 1 chopping board
  • 1 fish slice
  • 1 foil
  • 1 frying pan
  • 1 Garlic crusher
  • 1 grease proof paper
  • 1 large knife
  • 1 pastry brush
  • 1 small pan
  • 1 squeezer

How to make harissa chicken thighs with pistachio rice

In this dish the harissa is mixed with butter, honey and lemon and placed under the chicken thigh skin and over the top of the chicken. The thighs are roasted in the oven till cooked and succulent. The chicken is served with a pilaf of rice, onions, olives, cherry tomatoes, pistachios  and pomegranate. The pilaf is flavoured with cumin, coriander , garlic and balsamic vinegar. 

What is harissa

Harissa is the main flavouring for this dish. Harissa was originally a north African chilli pepper paste, it is made from roasted red peppers , spices and herbs. The typical spices found in harissa are caraway seeds, coriander seeds, and cumin. Harissa is now used throughout North Africa and the Middle East. 

What makes our baked harissa chicken and rice the best

Harissa spice mix and chicken perfectly compliment each other, the star of the recipe is the addition of the honey and lemon to the harissa makes a deliciously sticky sauce for the chicken.

Baked Chicken Harissa meal and dinner ideas

This dish is perfect in winter or summer We serve this mouth watering sticky chicken with the a tomato, olive and pistachio pilaf for a quick evening meal serve it with 

  • A simple onion rice 
  • An Asian coleslaw  with a vinaigrette dressing
  • A lemon and coriander couscous

Harissa chicken for your dinner party main course

This recipe is idea to for a middle eastern dinner party main course, in the winter serve it with a rice pilaf and in the summer serve with a Asian type coleslaw with a vinaigrette dressing. 

More oven cooked chicken recipes

Korean Sticky Chicken with Asian Rice Salad

Chicken Tagine with Tomatoes & Honey

Chicken Shawarma Pitta Breads

Chicken Chorizo & Bean Hotpot with Jacket Spuds

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