Friday, March 13, 2009

Harissa chicken




If there was one thing I could change about my kitchen it would be the size of the fridge.

Actually, there are quite a few things I'd change about it but the fridge is the main bug-bear. It is small. It is one of those under the counter jobs and frankly it simply doesn't house the quantity of food I would like it too. Part of the problem is that a whole shelf is taken up with pots and jars. I am the condiment queen. Redcurrant jelly, red onion chutney, horseradish sauce, four kinds of mustard, chilli jam, rhubarb ketchup... You name it. I've got it. No doubt most of these things don't need to be stored in the fridge. But that is where they live. The top shelf also houses all manner of half used jars of Thai green curry paste, pesto and tomato purée. This over-crowding leaves me with just one shelf for meat/dairy/fish and then a vegetable drawer. It isn't ideal.
If you could change just one thing about your kitchen, what would it be?


I've been trying to cut back on the number of jars so that I can make better use of the space. In a bid to do so I came across a half-jar of
harissa. I love this pungent paste made with red chillis, spices and (in this case) rose petals. A North African staple, I love it smeared onto lamb chops in particular.

Last week, I decided upon a speedy supper of harissa chicken. I'd spied a recipe in this months
Delicious magazine and based my dish on that. I served my flavourful chicken with couscous flecked with coriander and parsley, roasted red onions, carrots and courgettes.

Harissa chicken
Serves 1

Ingredients

1 chicken breast or supreme, bone and skin removed
1 heaped tablespoon harissa
1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Place chicken breast in a plastic sandwich bag and flatten using a rolling pin.

2. Spoon in the harissa and olive oil, smear all over the chicken and leave to marinate for 15-30 minutes.

3. Heat a frying pan until hot and fry the chicken breast for around four minutes each side, until cooked through (this will depend on the thickness). Set to one side to rest for a moment or two before slicing and serving with couscous with roasted vegetables, parsley and coriander.

16 comments:

ginger@dinnerdiary.org said...

I could have written that post, our fridge is exactly the same. Jars on the top, salad and vegetables at the bottom and then two shelves for everything else.

Can you imagine what it was like when S was studying for the fortified wine exam and a lot of those bottles lived in there too? I'm so glad to have my fridge back, even if it's teeny!

Sam said...

If I could change anything at all it would be my oven, it's tiny and the temperatures are all wrong. I hate it!

I love Moroccan food though, this chicken sounds delicious and a great way to use harissa.

♥Rosie♥ said...

Hi Antonia, as I read your post I was nodding in agreement with you! I have a small kitchen and I am also known as Condiment queen. Hubby says, why do you require all this and that in jars! Anyway *laughing here* I took over our garage and have a fridge freezer and chest freezer in there now....

Your chicken looks delish and something I should try out!

Rosie x

Bellini Valli said...

Your dish sounds delicious!! If I could change anything about my kitchen it would be everything..wink..

C said...

The chicken looks great!

I know what you mean about fridge space, but luckily I'm ok for that. If I could change one thing about my kitchen it would be more work surface space. Oh yes, and drawers with fronts to them. Mine are falling off, and the ones that aren't are painted silver (not my choice!)

Loving Annie said...

Antonia,
I love more countertop space on the island... It'd be nice it is was extended another 18" on each side !

Peter M said...

I love that sneaky, delayed heat that harissa gives...nothing too overbearing for chicken.

Trekkie said...

I'm SOOOO with you on the tiny fridge. Stoopid little freezer compartment at the top that doesn't freeze, drawer at the bottom that has to have medicine in it, so that leaves me with 2 shelves :-(
However.....Harissa, lovitloveitloveit. Actually had Quorn fillets with harissa dressing and couscous for dinner today.

Caitlin said...

This sounds absolutely delicious! I love harissa. I was introduced to it while on holiday in Tunisia, and also on a Moroccan cookery workshop.

My fridge is fine but the one thing I really would change about the kitchen is the lack of cupboard space - it drives me crazy! I don't own the flat though so there's not much I can do.

Caitlin said...

PS Here's food for thought for you... would you give up your fridge entirely to go green?
http://www.ecosalon.com/would-you-give-up-your-fridge-to-go-green/

I'd love a comment if you get the chance!

Margaret said...

I'd change me and my constant buying of kitchen stuff! Then they'd be room for everything.
I spied that recipe too and thought how delicious it looked.

Maria♥ said...

I'd have a bigger pantry so I could buy more pretty dishes, cake stands etc

The chicken looks delish!

Maria
x

Antonia said...

Ginger - oh goodness! You must be hugely relieved to have the space back.I can usually manage until I have guests for dinner and then there is no chance of fitting everything in.

Sam - How frustrating. I'd love to have a second oven actually - it would make doing a roast dinner that much easier.

Rosie - how sensible. Wish I had a garage to make use off. A big chest freezer would be wonderful.

Val - oh dear! That bad eh?

C - I have quite a bit of work space but I could always use more!

Loving Annie - Oh, I'd love an island full stop. That would be great. When I move out of the city (one day, I hope) then top of my list is a kitchen big enough for an island.

Peter - me too. Not too strong but still really flavoursome.

Lynn - harissa dressing sounds great. Yum!

Caitlin - I'm off to take a look right now (...but I suspect the answer is no!).

Antonia said...

Margaret - I know exactly what you mean. All my cupboards are bursting at the seams!

Maria - ooh yes. A large pantry sounds wonderful.

Holler said...

I'd like room enough for a big american style fridge and couter space for a kitchen aid to sit out all the time, oh daydreams :)

Katie said...

I'm just the same I have so many jars of jam, pickles, chutneys, sauces and pesto open in fridge there is hardly room for the food!