Saturday, September 21, 2013

IHCC: Oh Ottolenghi!

My attention has been elsewhere and the time with Ottolenghi has flown by, especially the last couple of months, so I wanted to do a nice meal for our going away party. I choose Harissa-Marinated Chicken with Red Grapefruit Salad from Ottolenghi (p119). And a good choice it was!

This dish starts with marinating chicken thighs in a yogurt-harissa mixture. Ottolenghi has you made the harissa paste from scratch. One day I will make some harissa from scratch, maybe using this recipe, just to see how it is, but this isn't the time right now. Instead I took the lazy way and used the store-bought kind. Morocco, having been a French colony, left its influence in the grocery store where tubes and jars of harissa and other interesting spices are easily available. So the marinade was especially simple, a big spoonful of harissa mixed with a smaller spoonful of yogurt. Plop this mixture into a ziploc with the chicken bits, squish around till everything is well-coated, then set it in the fridge overnight. Easy with very good results. The chicken is baked, then finished under the grill, and would probably be quite good on the barbecue.

The arugula (aka rocket or rucola) salad with red grapefruit was a delicious surprise. It's very simple, red grapefruit sections tossed with rocket, a dab of olive oil, coarse sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper.

The sauce for the bird bits was equal amounts of grapefruit juice and maple syrup, with slightly less lemon juice, a bit of salt, a pinch of cinnamon, and star anise. This all boiled for 20 minutes till it reduced quite a bit. The sweet-sour taste was a nice combination and complemented the spicy harissa left on the chicken.

Here are our plates waiting to go to the dining room:

This post is shared with this week's I Heart Cooking Clubs and this month's Cook Your Books.


  1. Hi Kaye,
    I thought I have missed on Oh Ottolenghi! Haha! Your post is up early.
    The chicken looks absolutely mouth-watering! I have bookmarked this recipe in my to-do list (with a few dozen of Ottolenghi's)!
    The boiling down of the grapefruit juice sounds really good to me, something that I have never used in cooking before. I know that this dish would be really delicious, and from the looks of your plate, is a total winner.
    Thank you for linking with CYB!

  2. Looks like a great meal to end our YO days. Very interested in the grapefruit since I've never used it in a savory dish.

  3. Yum! I love the idea of marinating the chicken thighs. They're so moist anyway, giving them added flavour from a marinade makes for an even better dinner! I have made YO's harissa ... worth it!

  4. The sweet/savory/spicy combination on the chicken sound mouth-watering! ;-)
    What a beautiful plate of food and a perfect way to send off Ottolenghi.

  5. Oh my, this certainly is a lovely way to end our six months with Ottolenghi. I am absolutely crazy for harissa and never really thought to use it mas a marinade for chicken. I bet it was terrific when paired with the grapefruit salad!

    I appreciate you joining in the Ottolenghi fun and look forward to cooking Donna Hay with you :)

  6. you had me at harissa...looks delicious