Roast chicken is an oft forgotten but much loved dinner in our house.
I think it is, hands down, one of the best things you can make at home.
But! I always forget about it. It’s a rare dinner in our house, much to my regret.
It’s so tempting to go the easy route and buy chicken breasts, tenders, or thighs for weeknight meals, but I must say, a whole roast chicken tastes like heaven and is actually super simple to throw together. I never regret making one.
The reason? Well, roast chicken is comfort food. The meat stays so juicy and tender and full of flavor because it’s cooked on the bone and with the skin (which you don’t have to eat, by the way, if you’re trying to watch your calories and fat intake at the moment). So much dang flavor is imparted from that alone.
I love to make a traditional chicken from time to time – simply seasoned with citrus, garlic, and herbs. There are few things better on earth.
But I also like to switch things up here and there, and this honeyed harissa version is to die for.
It’s spicy, a touch sweet, a little bit smoky, loaded with unctuous flavor, and will make your home smell like HEAVEN. And it’s just as easy to throw together as the more traditional one, so let’s get into it.
It starts by making a little paste to rub all over the outside of your chicken. All it takes is some red harissa paste, which has lots of spice and tangy pepper flavor; smoky cumin and paprika; garlic; honey; and olive oil. Mix it up, season with salt and pepper, and then slather it all over the bird.
I stuff the chicken with a quartered lemon and some whole garlic cloves and that is it. We want the flavor to permeate from the inside out. Easy peasy.
Into the oven it goes for a couple hours until it is mouthwateringly juicy with a crisp, golden skin. Swoon! If you can wait the suggested 20 minutes before slicing into it (it’s worth the wait but I am often guilty of diving in with my hands a little too early), you’ll be left with the juiciest, most delectable weeknight meal.
I like to make it a meal by serving simple roast veggies or an easy salad alongside. For this chicken, I roasted some sweet potato wedges, and they turned out to be the ideal accompaniment to the spicy-sweet chicken.
Roast chicken does take more time than the more common breasts or thighs, but I must say, it’s worth it. If you aren’t interested in waiting 2 hours for dinner on a Tuesday (I get it), save this meal for a weekend when you have a little bit more time and leisure. Or! Add it to your weekly meal prep. Roast off one or two of these at once and you’ll have crazy good chicken for lunches and dinner ready to go for the week.
I can’t adequately express how good this honeyed harissa chicken is. Definitely one of the most flavorful chickens I’ve made!
This Honeyed Harissa Roast Chicken is a twist on classic roast chicken. It’s spicy, sweet, a little bit smoky, and packed with unctuous flavor. It is a set it and forget it kind of meal, which is ideal during busy weeks.
- 1 (5-lb) whole chicken, giblets removed
- 3 tablespoons red harissa paste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 lemon, quartered
- 3 whole garlic cloves, peeled
- Fresh thyme, for optional serving garnish
- Preheat the oven to 300°F and place the chicken in a baking dish. Season the chicken inside and outside with some salt.
- In a bowl, whisk together the harissa, oil, honey, spices, salt, and pepper.
- Rub the harissa mixture all over the inside and outside of the chicken. Place the lemon and garlic cloves inside the cavity of the chicken and tie the legs together with kitchen twine.
- Place the chicken in the oven and roast for 1 hour. Baste the chicken all over with any pan juices that have accumulated.
- Return the chicken to the oven and roast for another hour, basting again. At this point, check the internal temperature of the chicken using a meat thermometer. If it registers 165°F, it is ready. If not, keep roasting, basting and checking the temperature every 15 minutes or until the thermometer reads 165°F.
- Allow the chicken to rest for 20 minutes before slicing. Garnish with a few sprigs of fresh thyme before serving.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
- Category: chicken
Keywords: roast chicken recipe, harissa chicken, harissa roast chicken, honeyed harissa roast chicken recipe, comfort food, easy meals, meal prep, chicken recipes