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  • Writer's pictureLucie Ellis

19. THE BEST RECIPE Crispy Harissa Thighs

So I’ve just made this for about the 12th time (including once for about 60 guests at a Milk Shed pop up) and I still can’t get over how fab it is. Found it a while ago on the Bon Appetit website.

There’s not much to it but the cooking is crucial so follow the instructions carefully (@sarahwickins - I’m talking to you!)

For 2:

4 chicken thighs (skin on/bone in)

A splash of red wine vinegar (about 25ml)

A teaspoon of harissa paste

A pinch of sugar

250g punnet baby plum tomatoes

4 sprigs oregano, leaves picked

About 50g feta


Ok, here’s the trick, listen VERY carefully.

Dry the chicken thoroughly with kitchen paper. Season all over with fine salt. Lay skin side down in a large COLD AND DRY frying pan that will fit them in one nice layer.

Place on a medium heat and DO NOT TOUCH for at least 15 minutes. If they sound like they are cooking too fast lower the heat.

They will slowly render their fat and you should hear them gently sizzling away.

After 15-20 minutes carefully check the skin on one. Wait til they are super golden and crispy before you move them, this will take up to 30 minutes, then remove from the pan and place SKIN SIDE UP on a plate.

Ok, I’ll chill out now.

Tip the tomatoes into the pan with the chicken fat and stir in the vinegar and harissa.

Cook on high for 2-3 minutes shaking the pan now and then to get the tomatoes going, and season with salt, pepper AND a teaspoon of sugar. Check the spiciness to see if you want to add more harissa.

Sprinkle on most of the oregano, nestle in the thighs, skin side up, turn the heat to medium/low and simmer until the chicken has cooked through underneath, about 10 minutes but check after 5 as it just depends on their size.

As soon as they’re done, turn off the heat, scatter over the feta and remaining oregano and leave to rest for 10 minutes. We had ours with the amazing @padstowkitchengarden leaves, and bread to soak up the juices. To double the recipe just use 2 pans!!!

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