This is undoubtedly the first time I have ever structured a whole meal around a condiment. I saw some harissa hanging out there in the fridge when I was working through the freezer clean-out, and decided that it was finally time to do something with it.
I had gotten the jar as part of a fun trip to Santa Barbara with my friend, J. We stopped at Metropolis, a truly exceptional fine foods store, where they sell harissa so absolutely delicious that J confessed to furtively eating it straight from the jar. I had never tried harissa, but it sounded wonderful, so I added some to my cart.
It was only later that we learned that J and I have completely different tolerances for heat, and far from eating it straight, I found it so hot as to be almost unusable. Also, I’m an absolute wuss in this regard. Chances are that most people fall somewhere between hardly being able to get it down and loving to spoon it directly into their mouths. In other words, you should try it.
Then last weekend, it occurred to me to mix it into a marinade for barbecued chicken, and now I know how I will get through the jar. Mixing it with soy and sugar mellows it out considerably and gives the chicken great depth of flavor and a really luscious heat. I served it with roast broccoli and a salad, and then cut up the leftovers and dumped them into lunch salads for the next day. It was really perfectly paired with the creamy avocados that we are getting now.
- 2 Tbs Harissa
- 2 Tbs brown sugar
- 1/2 C soy sauce
- 2 – 3 cloves garlic
- Chicken – I used tenders, but you could use any cut you are partial to
Mix all ingredients except the chicken, and then toss chicken in the marinade. Let sit a few hours or overnight to develop full flavor. Grill an appropriate amount of time for your cut of meal.