Well winter has made its early arrival or at least given us a preview of what’s to come on the east coast. We had over 6 inches of snow yesterday, and it was just so beautiful. It forced everyone to stay home and stay indoors mostly, except for the few kids who managed to convince their parents to risk their lives to go sledding down a few hills. (Kudos to you, kiddos!)
I was indoors mostly watching the snow fall and drinking hot coffee and cocoa because SNOW. It was fantastic.
This last week was quite the doozy – but I’m so happy WE SURVIVED!!! As the days wind down to the end of the year, I get a bit anxious about trying to finish up SOOOO many things I have been wanting to do all year long.
– Clean out closets
– Clean out dressers
– Clean out kitchen of unnecessary/unused kitchen things
I’m running out of days (ugh – PROCRASTINATION, why are you such a thorn in my side!), but I did manage to do some ad hoc purging yesterday. My strategy is to keep a few large bags or boxes in the bedrooms and not far from the kitchen so that as I move about the day, and I spot something that triggers my desire to get rid of it, I’ll have a spot nearby and will feel immediate satisfaction knowing I’m slowly chipping away at my purge.
In the back of my mind, I hear Marie Kondo’s voice constantly asking me, “Does this item bring you joy?” And 90% of the time, my response is, “I FORGOT WE EVEN HAD THIS!!”
Yes, the struggle is real. But I’m determined to truly lighten the load of ‘things’ we own, especially BEFORE we get into the new year of madness.
However, now it’s Sunday morning and I’m thinking about my reward for my initial pass at purging: dinner (duh). Earlier this week I made a favorite recipe of mine, harissa chicken and potatoes. I promise you, you will never think of weeknight chicken as boring again! With very little clean-up or mess, this one-pan meal might be one of your new go-to’s during the week. I think today will be part two of this meal for me.
This recipe was developed from a few different recipes I’ve tried. I always tend to keep chicken thighs in my freezer for an easy no-fuss meal. But this recipe would work great with chicken breasts too. The harissa brings a rich spicy flavor without being overly hot or pungent. Balanced with the tangy yogurt and the buttery potatoes, you may just finish the whole pan of food by yourself.
Not that I would judge you, because I WOULD NOT. (Been there- done that…) Your secret is safe with me.
Harissa Chicken & Potatoes with Greek Yogurt Sauce
Overall however, the harissa in this recipe is really countered by the cooling yogurt. If you find the chicken and potatoes finished a bit too spicy, you are saved by the yogurt sauce. Lastly, you can make a thicker yogurt sauce thicker by excluding buttermilk (or milk), but I like the tanginess of the buttermilk and it makes the sauce a bit thinner to spread around the chicken and potatoes easily.
– 1 ½-2 lbs chicken thighs, breasts and/or drumsticks (about 6-8 pieces)
– 1½ lbs fingerling, yukon gold or red bliss potatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
– 2 TB salt
– 1 tsp black pepper
– 5 TB extra-virgin olive oil
– 3 TB harissa
– 1 tsp ground cumin
– 1 tsp ground coriander
– 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
– 1 medium brown onion, thinly sliced
– ½ c greek yogurt (plain)
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– 1 tsp lemon zest
– 1 tsp lemon juice, plus more as desired
– 1-2 TB buttermilk or milk, more or less as desired
– ¼ c chopped fresh mint
– ¼ c chopped fresh cilantro
1. In a large bowl, combine the chicken and potatoes, and season evenly with salt and pepper.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together 3 TB olive oil, harissa, cumin and coriander until well blended into a sauce. Pour sauce over the chicken and potatoes, tossing chicken and potatoes to incorporate. Let the chicken and potatoes stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes. (Perfect amount of time to run to take a shower, check on the kids, set the table, read emails – whatever’s clever!)
3. Preheat oven to 425 F.
4. Toss sliced shallots and onion in a medium bowl with remaining 2 TB olive oil.
5. On a rimmed cookie sheet pan or a large casserole dish, arrange the chicken (skin-side down) and potatoes into a single layer. Roast for 20 minutes.
6. Remove chicken and potatoes from oven; flip chicken pieces over to skin-side up and toss potatoes lightly. Scatter shallots and onions on top of chicken and potatoes, and return to oven for another 10-15 minutes or until chicken is golden and crisp. **NOTE: you may need less roasting time with white meat.
7. Remove chicken and potatoes from oven and let it rest for 5 minutes.
8. In a small bowl, combine yogurt, garlic, lemon zest and lemon juice. Whisk buttermilk in slowly and little by little, until its reached your desired thinness.
9. Top the chicken and potatoes with fresh chopped herbs, and finish off with fresh lemon juice if desired.
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