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Green Harissa Chicken with Braised Chicory

July 31, 2016

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The house is quiet. Jonathan, Lyndsey & Freddie are living with me temporarily in between house moves. But they’ve gone off to Cornwall for a holiday and so I’m cooking for one again. I took a supreme of chicken from the freezer this morning (a chicken from the farmers’ market, jointed by Jonathan). He’s been using a green harissa – Verbena Harissa by Belazu – a lot. It’s made from lemon verbena, fresh coriander and spices. It’s delicious, so I decided to use it as a glaze for my chicken. I mixed it with a little olive oil to thin it and then smeared it generously over the chicken.

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I decided to cover the chicken in foil for most of the cooking so the harissa wouldn’t burn. It was quite a large portion of chicken so I cooked it for about 45 minutes in a 200C/180 Fan/Gas 6 oven, took off the foil and then left it for about another 10 minutes to brown a bit.

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While the chicken was roasting, I prepared the chicory.

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I cut two chicory heads in half lengthways. Then I heated a little olive oil in a frying pan and put the chicory halves in cut-side down to brown and caramelise a bit.

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I love the taste of chicory and often add it to salads, but I liked the idea of the caramelisation to sweeten it a bit when cooked. Once it was nicely browned, I transferred the pieces to an ovenproof dish. Then I added a little chicken stock to the juices in the frying pan and let it bubble up. I squeezed in a little lemon juice, added a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme and seasoned with salt and black pepper.

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Once it had reduced a bit, I poured it over the chicory.

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I covered the dish quite tightly with foil as I wanted the chicory to braise, not roast. Like the chicken, I took the foil off for the last 10 minutes (after half an hour).

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I decided to serve some peas with it all. It needed a bit of colour and I’ve always felt some colour is healthy! Anyway, I love peas.

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It was a lovely supper. I sat in the still warm garden. The chicken was subtly flavoured by the lemon verbena and coriander – which I thought nicely summery flavours – and had a perfect touch of heat from the spices running through it. The slightly bitter chicory was a great accompaniment, the slight sweetness of the edges contrasting with the natural bitterness and it all retaining a nice amount of crunch in the middle.

 

12 Comments
  1. Snap! We too have recently enjoyed the Belazu lemon verbena harrissa. I have plenty of verbena growing in my French garden and I think I might have a go at making some. As for the chicory it’s one of my favourite winter vegetables. It is very popular in northern France and Belgium and here only costs a couple of euros for a kilo or more. I like your way of cooking it but it is also good boiled for about 20 minutes, drained and then slowly finished – easily another 20 minutes – in butter and honey. Once any water in the chicory has evaporated it caramelises beautifully in the butter and honey. Delicious – and very good served with with a slice of roast ham. I agree with you too about needing some colour on the plate even if its only a scattering of parsley.

    • Well I was using my son’s Belazu harissa last night but I’ll have to buy my own when they go 🙂 Thanks for you extra ideas about cooking chicory … I like the butter and honey suggestion.

  2. That is very intriguing! I’ve grown lemon verbena (couldn’t find any this spring) and it’s super lemony. Is that the main flavor besides the cilantro flavor in this green harissa? A beautiful meal. Having a family back in your home is quite a change!!! Good luck with that!

    • The lemon is a strong taste in the harissa and a heat from the spices. It’s a lovely miss. Yes it’s fun have the family around for a while – though quite hectic!

  3. Last weekend I visited a Belgian endive farm ( chicory ) in northern California . It was fascinating to see how these plants are grown. I was giving some Belgian endive’s by the farmer and now I know what to do with them. Thank you for the recipe.

    • I hope you enjoy recipe! There are also a couple of salads here on the blog – a warm halloumi with chicory and peach is great.

      • I made your chicories and they were delicious. I will look at the other recipes.

      • Thanks so much for letting me know, Gerlinde! I’m very pleased you liked them.

  4. Very curious….. where can i get it?

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