Harissa Chicken with Roasted Parsnips and Carrots

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Chicken Harissa

Harissa is a spicy North African condiment that adds deep flavor to roasted meats. When combined with Ras el Hanout (literally translated to “head of the shop,” denoting the best spice mixture of the house), our easy roasted chicken recipe becomes something exotic, aromatic and special. We’ve spatchcocked it (removed the backbone), which cuts cooking time in half. For a whole chicken, simply cook 30-60 min more.

Serves: 4
Difficulty: easy
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 1 – 1 1/2 hr
Special tools: roasting pan and roasting rack, parchment paper


2 T harissa paste*
1 t salt
1 t sugar
2 T lemon juice
1 t cumin, ground
1 t paprika
1 t Ras el Hanout (spice blend available in Bulk Department)
3 T extra virgin olive oil
4-5 lb whole chicken, spatchcocked (backbone removed)**

Roasted Parsnips and Carrots
1 lb ea parsnips and carrots, washed, peeled, cut into large chunks
1/2 t salt and pepper
2 T harissa/Ras el Hanout spice mixture from chicken
1-2 T extra virgin olive oil, as needed


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all ingredients. Rinse chicken and spatchcock (remove backbone, if desired). Spatchcocking poultry speeds up the cooking time significantly. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and rub generously with spice mixture, reserving 2 T for seasoning vegetables. For deeper flavor, spread some of the spice mixture under the skin, along breasts and thighs. Line roasting pan with parchment paper for easy cleanup. Place chicken on roasting rack in roasting pan. Cook in preheated oven until internal temp reaches 165 degrees and juices run clear when thickest part of meat is pierced, approx. 1 1/2 hr, basting chicken generously with pan juices several times for last 30 min of cooking. Let rest 10 min before carving. Serve with Roasted Parsnips and Carrots and more harissa paste on side.

Roasted Parsnips and Carrots
Toss all ingredients together, adding olive oil as needed to disperse seasonings evenly. Place on rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake 30-45 min until soft and beginning to darken. This can be done in same pan as chicken, if desired and if room allows (vegetables will absorb much of the cooking juices and have deeper flavor). Simply prepare and cook chicken and add vegetables for last 45 min of cook time, removing if they finish cooking before chicken. Serve hot.

* Harissa paste can be found in our Cheese Shop.
** Our Meat Department can spatchcock chicken for you, upon request.