The first time I tasted harissa, I was blown away by the smoky depth of flavor. I knew I wanted to keep it in my refrigerator, so I started buying the store-bought version to season pretty much everything I was eating. The only problem was that a jar of harissa didn’t last very long in my kitchen; so, I turned to make my own version at home. I added a can of fire-roasted tomatoes to my recipe to add some bulk to the sauce.
The smokiness of the harissa sauce really adds a lot of flavor to chicken that is being prepared on the grill. I love to grill harissa chicken in the summer. I’m instantly transported to memories of holidays like Memorial Day and Independence Day and large cookouts with family and friends.
2 large jarred or fresh roasted red bell peppers
5 cloves garlic
1 (15-oz [420-g]) can fire-roasted tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons (16 g) smoked paprika
2 medium jalapeño chiles
1 small habanero chile
6 tablespoons (90 ml) olive oil
ground cumin, to taste
ground coriander, to taste
crushed red pepper flakes, to taste
1 tablespoon (8 g) garlic powder
1 tablespoon (8 g) paprika
½ tablespoon (4 g) ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1½ teaspoons (8 g) salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
5 pounds (2.3 kg) chicken drumsticks
10 ounces (300 ml) Harissa Sauce
- Combine the bell peppers, garlic, tomatoes, smoked paprika, jalapeños, habanero, oil, cumin, coriander and
crushed red pepper flakes in a food processor. Process until the mixture is uniform. Transfer the sauce to jars and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
- Preheat the grill to 400°F (204°C).
- In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, paprika, cumin, cinnamon, salt and black pepper.
- Place the drumsticks and spice mixture in a large resealable bag.
- Shake the bag, ensuring that each piece of chicken is coated with the spices.
- Place the drumsticks directly on the grill and flip them every 5 to 7 minutes.
- Once the drumsticks start to brown, move them to the side of the grill, away from the direct heat. When the internal temperature of the drumsticks reaches 190°F (88°C), baste the chicken with the harissa sauce and cook for 2 to 5 minutes.
- Remove the drumsticks from the grill and let them rest for 5 minutes before serving.
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