Harissa & Lemon Chicken Tray Bake

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Add some sweet potatoes and cauliflower and you have a "winner..." well, you know the rest. 

This was voted one of the favorite meals I've made since I've moved here to Lake Havasu City. This got a resounding all thumbs up from my family. It's one of my favorites also. 
I'm still in transition, living half in and out of boxes. I know I packed my jars of Harissa but couldn't find either one of them so I made my own. 
It turned out to be a good thing because I learned how really easy it is to make. 

I know you won't over-roast your peppers as I did. I tasted the little charred bits and they were tasty, a little bit sweet so I added the whole lot to the food processor and pulsed away. I didn't peel the peppers either. Hummm no wonder I think harissa is so easy to make. 

One variation of the basic harissa recipe (included) is fragrant harissa. While the peppers are roasting toast 1 tablespoon each of fennel, cumin, coriander, and caraway seeds in a dry frying pan over medium heat for about 3 minutes until fragrant. Roughly grind the toasted spices, set aside. 


In a large saucepan heat the olive oil and add the roasted pepper mixture. Here is where you are going to add the ground spices. 


After simmering the pepper mixture for about 45 minutes, add fresh lemon juice to taste, and you're done.

See how much darker and richer the peppers are after simmering for a while. 

The recipe calls for red chilis also. Add as many as you like depending on how spicy you want your harissa. Once again, I have a family member that doesn't care for spicy food so I left them out. 

Now that we have the harissa made, on to the marinade for the chicken and veggies. 


You'll need, vegetable broth, olive oil, the zest and juice of lemons, coriander/cilantro, garlic, harissa, and salt. Whisk it all together in a bowl. I used the measuring cup the broth was in. 


The vegetables you need for the chicken are sweet potatoes, onions, lemons, garlic, and cauliflower. 

After getting the chicken seriously coated with the marinade,  it was placed in the roasting pan on a bed of sliced onion, then the potatoes and cauliflower were added and it was all topped with the sliced lemons, popped into a 375*F oven for about an hour. 

A seriously delicious meal. I hope you try it


Harissa & Lemon Chicken Tray Bake

Serves 4 

2 onions (400g), sliced
8 garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
4 large chicken legs
1 large sweet potato (250g), cut into large chunks
300g cauliflower florets
2 lemons, sliced


200ml vegetable stock
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
3 tablespoons Harissa plus extra to serve
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander
3/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste    

koko's note:
I roasted the chicken at 375*F

Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan), Gas Mark 6.   

Mix all the marinade ingredients together in a bowl.    Spread the onions out in a deep roasting tin and scatter the garlic cloves all over. Place the chicken legs, skin-side up, on top with the sweet potato chunks and cauliflower florets. Pour over the marinade and turn the chicken legs several times to ensure that they are fully coated with the marinade. Top the whole dish with the lemon slices.    Bake for about 1 hour or until the chicken is golden and cooked through. Serve the chicken and vegetables immediately with extra harissa.

Harissa Basic Recipe

1kg red peppers (about 8)
1–4 red chillies (any type), depending on how spicy you want your harissa
7 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
olive oil    

koko's note:
I roasted the peppers at 350*F

Preheat the oven to 170°C (150°C fan), Gas Mark 3½.

Line a roasting tray with foil. Cut the red peppers and the chillies into quarters lengthways, then remove and discard the cores, veins and seeds. Place them, skin-side up, in the lined roasting tray. Roast for about 40 minutes or until the skins of the peppers start to look wrinkly.    Remove from the oven and leave the peppers and chillies until cool enough to handle, then remove the skins from the peppers and chop everything finely with a knife or use a food processor to pulse to a coarse purée.    

Heat 5 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the roasted pepper mixture and the garlic, reduce the heat to medium-low and leave to simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 35–45 minutes until the mixture looks darker, all the liquid from the peppers and chillies has evaporated and the mixture has dried out (the only liquid you should see is oil). Taste and season with salt as necessary.    When your harissa is ready, transfer it to a clean jar with a tight-fitting lid that has some room to spare at the top. Pour in enough olive oil to completely cover the harissa – this acts as  natural preservative and allows you to store the harissa for longer – then seal the jar. Store the harissa in the fridge, where it will keep for up to 1 month. Enjoy with everything!

Casablanca: My Moroccan Food Cookbook


And that's that!

Damn Fine Chicken

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This chicken lives up to its name and I couldn’t wait to share it with you. So few ingredients and so much flavor and Whole 30 compliant.

It’s a Michelle Tam of Nom Nom Paleo fame recipe.

Just mince up some shallots, slice some scallions, drizzle in some vinegar, oil, soy sauce, fish sauce, salt, and pepper. 

Roll the chicken around in the marinade to completely coat it with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours. 
Then place in a baking pan skin side down and bake. Be sure and turn the chicken halfway through the baking time.

See I told you it was easy. You are more than welcome, happy to help. 

Damn Fine Chicken

Prep Time:10 mins
Cook Time:45 mins
Total Time:55 mins
Servings: 4


  • 2 large shallots minced**
    3 Calçot onions or scallions thinly sliced**
    3 tablespoons sherry vinegar or balsamic vinegar
    3 tablespoons extra virgin olive or avocado oil, melted ghee, coconut oil, etc.
    1 tablespoon coconut aminos
    1 tablespoon Red Boat fish sauce
    Kosher salt
    Freshly ground pepper
    10 drumsticks or 8 chicken thighs

    **in place of all the alliums, you can sub in 3 tablespoons of Penzeys Spices Sunny Paris Seasoning


  1. Mix together the shallots, onions, vinegar, oil, coconut aminos, fish sauce, salt (2 large pinches), and pepper (several grinds) in a large bowl. Then, plop the chicken on top, and use your hands to make sure it's well-covered in the marinade.

    Allow the chicken to marinate in the fridge for a few hours. Personally, if I know I’m going to be short on time (which is almost always), I marinate this dish in the morning – that way, the chicken’ll be ready for me by the late afternoon, when I start preparing dinner.

    When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400°F on convection bake (or 425°F non-convection). Arrange the chicken (skin-side down) in an oven-safe baking dish and pop it in the hot oven.

    Bake the chicken for 40-45 minutes, flipping the pieces halfway through the cooking time. If you want to brown the skin some more, broil it for a minute or two.

    Arrange the drumsticks on a platter, and pour the cooking liquid over the chicken.

    Simple and ridiculously good!

    You can marinate the chicken for up to 24 hours before roasting it!

    Michelle Tam Nom Nom Paleo

And that's that!

Chicken Breasts Diable

This was pronounced one of the best meals I've prepared so far. I used regular Dijon-style mustard, I wanted to use horseradish mustard but we have some "lightweights" at the table so I call it Chicken Breasts Petit Diable.

Jump To Recipe Print Chicken Breasts Diable


The mustard adds a little bit of tanginess to the creamy sauce. 

Preheat the oven to 200*F for keeping the chicken warm after browning while you make the sauce. 


I cut my chicken into bite-size pieces rather than pounding them as the recipe says. 

While the chicken is being kept warm in the oven, start the sauce. After the shallots, garlic, and wine have been bubbling away, 

Add the heavy cream. After the cream comes to the boil, 

Add the mustard and Worchestershire sauce. Taste and adjust the seasoning according to your taste. 

I served it very simple, just rice and salad.

In my best Julia Child voice. Bon Appetit!!!


Chicken Breasts Diable


  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, preferably organic, without tenders, pounded lightly, at room temperature
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    About 1 tablespoon olive oil
    Salt and freshly ground pepper
    1 medium shallot, finely chopped, rinsed and patted dry
    1 garlic clove, split, germ removed and finely chopped
    1/3 cup dry white wine
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    3 tablespoons Dijon or grainy mustard, preferably French, or a bit more
    1‑2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce


  1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 200 degrees F.

    Pat the chicken breasts dry. Put a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the butter and 1 tablespoon oil. When the butter is melted, slip the chicken pieces into the pan. (If your pan isn’t large enough to hold all the pieces at one time, cook the chicken in batches or work in two skillets.) Adjust the heat so that the butter doesn’t burn, and cook the chicken until it’s well browned on the underside, about 4 minutes. Turn the pieces over and cook until the other side is also well browned and the chicken is cooked through—cut into a piece to check. If the pan dries out, drizzle in just a touch more oil. Transfer the breasts to a heatproof plate (one with a rim to catch the juices), season with salt and pepper, cover lightly with a foil tent, and keep warm in the oven while you prepare the sauce.

  2. Lower the heat to medium, toss the shallot and garlic into the pan, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, just until they soften, about 2 minutes. Pour in the wine, and when it starts to bubble, stir it around so that you can pick up whatever little bits might have stuck to the bottom of the skillet. Let the wine boil for a few seconds, then pour in the heavy cream. As soon as it reaches a boil, stir in the mustard and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce. Taste and decide if you want more mustard, Worcestershire, or pepper (you probably won’t need more salt, since the mustard is salty).

  3. Remove the chicken from the oven, pour any juices on the plate into the skillet, and stir the sauce again.

  4. Serve the chicken with the sauce.


    Greenspan, Dorie. Around My French Table

And that's that!

Murgh Makhani (Buttery Chicken Curry)

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When one of the diners goes for a third helping you know you have a winner on your hands. I used the substitutions I noted in the ingredients list but I did go out and buy "the real thing"


I served this with long grain basmati rice that I cooked in chicken broth. It's exactly like the description in the cookbook except it wasn't as spicy as I expected it to be. But yes, it's "spicy, sweet and tangy with the fragrance of butter and herbs". One I'll make again, many times again. 

One of the ingredients in the recipe is Kashmiri red chili powder. After some research, I found that the Kashmiri is a mild heat chili bred more for color than heat, it runs 1,000 to 2,000 Scoville heat unit, comparable to a poblano chili. While I was looking for the Kashmiri I ran across a bag of Degi Mirch chili powder which is a blend of red bell peppers and Kashmiri chilis and is supposed to have a higher heat level then Kashmiri chili powder so of course, I had to get that also.
O.K. chili school is our for now, on to the recipe. 

Note from Cookbook;
This is a very popular north Indian restaurant dish. The original recipe was created by the Moti Mahal restaurant in New Delhi and it is still a top-seller. Marinated chicken is usually cooked in the tandoor, then folded into a buttery or ‘makhani’ sauce.
Use a mixture of oil and butter so that the butter does not burn when heated. You can use paneer instead of chicken for a vegetarian version. The sauce should be spicy, sweet and tangy, with the fragrance of butter and herbs.

Murgh Makhani (Buttery Chicken Curry)


  • Serves 4 PREPARATION → 20 minutes, plus 1 hour marinating time or overnight if possible
    COOKING 30 minutes

    800g skinless chicken breast, cut into 2.5cm cubes
    boiled rice or Laccha Paratha, to serve
    For the marinade
    50g natural yogurt
    1 teaspoon red Kashmiri chili powder
    or mix 3 parts paprika with 1 part cayenne pepper and use equal amount of the mix
    1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
    2 tablespoons lemon juice
    1/2 teaspoon garam masala salt

    For the makhani sauce
    2 tablespoons salted butter
    1 tablespoon vegetable oil
    1/2 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (kasoori methi), plus extra to serve;
    or substitute with equal amount of honey Dijon mustard
    1 fresh green chilli, finely chopped
    1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
    150g tomato purée
    1/2 teaspoon Kashmiri red chilli powder;
    or mix 3 parts paprika with 1 part cayenne pepper and use equal amount of the mix
    The rest of the mixture is great on potatoes.
    1/2 teaspoon garam masala
    2 tablespoons honey
    100ml single cream, plus extra to serve


  1. 1 *Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl and add the cubed chicken. Cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least for 1 hour or overnight if possible.
    2 Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Transfer the chicken and marinade to an ovenproof dish and bake for 10–15 minutes until tender and cooked through.
    3 For the makhani sauce, heat the butter and oil in a saucepan over a high heat and add the kasoori methi and green chilli. Stir in the ginger-garlic paste, cook for a minute or so, then add the tomato purée and stir to blend for a couple of minutes.
    4 Mix in the chilli powder, garam masala and honey, and season with salt. Finish with the cream, then add enough water to give the sauce a pouring consistency.
    5 Add the cooked chicken to the sauce. Serve with rice or laccha paratha, with a swirl of single cream and a sprinkling of kasoori methi.

    *Or skip this step and use pre-cooked chicken and re-heat in the finished sauce. 

    Bharadwaj, Monisha. Indian Cookery Course

And that's that!

Italian Chicken Salad Sandwich


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This has got to be one of the best non-mayonnaise based chicken salad recipes I believe I've had in a long time. 
For the bread, I used cocktail croissants they are the perfect size for a luncheon sandwich. Of course, we all went back for another.

Mix the chicken with the celery, roasted red peppers, toasted almond slivers, red onion, and parsley. 


Not many ingredients. Quick, easy, very flavorful and it has the crunch factor. 


Then add to that the red wine vinaigrette and you have a great chicken salad.

At first, I was tempted to double the vinaigrette recipe because it didn't look like there would be enough, but it's just the right amount. 

Italian Chicken Salad Sandwich

Makes 5 1/2 to 6 cups
6 servings


  • For the chicken salad
  • 2 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin on chicken breasts (2 large or 3 medium, or 1 rotisserie chicken) 
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced roasted red pepper
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 1/3 cup sliced red onion
  • Handful chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 6 sandwich rolls like ciabatta, or croissants

  • For the vinaigrette
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Make the chicken salad: Use a rotisserie chicken, or rub some olive oil over fresh chicken breasts, and season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken on a rimmed baking sheet and roast the chicken breasts in a 425* oven until cooked through about 30 minutes. Set the chicken aside until cool enough to handle. Remove the skin and bones and shred the meat.
  2. Make the vinaigrette: Place the vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Whisking continuously add the oil in a steady stream, pour the vinaigrette over the chicken salad and toss to coat.

Recipe adapted from the kitchn. 

And that's that!