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Spatchcock Harissa Chicken Kebabs

Ingredients

  • 1 whole chicken around 1.8kg
  • 3 cloves of garlic finely grated
  • 1 shallot finely grated
  • juice and grated zest of 1/2 a lemon
  • 3 dessert spoons greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons harrisa paste
  • Salt and pepper
  • Drizzle of olive oil

homemade harissa marinade

marinaded harissa chicken

Instructions

  1. To Spatchcock the chicken, turn the chicken over so the breast is facing down. Either take a sharp scissors or knife and cut down either side of the breast bone, remove and discard.
  2. Turn the chicken back over so the breast is facing up and the and the cut side underneath. Open up the carcas so that it spreads out on a flat clean surface or roasting tin and press down in the centre of the breasts until you hear it click and lays flat on the surface. Spatchcocking is great for reducing the cooking time down as the internal core temperature inside the bird doesn’t take as long as it’s one flat piece of meat now.
  3. Use a fine grater like the one used for Parmesan to grate the garlic and shallot very fine. Place all the other ingredients into a bowl and stir. I don’t tend to weigh or measure the ingredients so you can play around with exact quantities to your taste putting in more or less harrisa depending on how spicy you want it.
  4. Make some incisions in the chicken all over to allow the marinade to penetrate and work it’s magic. Pour the marinade over the chicken and massage it in making sure to work it into all the incisions for ultimate flavour.
  5. Leave to marinade for at least 30 minutes or longer in the fridge if you have time.
  6. Once the marinade has had chance to absorb and leave it’s mark on the chicken, place the chicken in the roasting tin in the oven and cook for around an hour depending on weight on around 180-190C. Check the colour of the skin before that time to make sure it isn’t burning and amend the temperature and time accordingly so that it doesn’t blacken too much but cooked through.
  7. The juices should run clear on the thickest part of the thigh. Leave it to rest for a few minutes to save your little pinkies when carving or just yanking the spicy, slightly chared legs off.

filled harissa chicken and tzatziki pitta

Serve with

I served mine with with griddled or toasted mediterranean style pittas from M & S, halloumi, hummus, tzatziki, salad and a sprinkle of summac. Not that I have to say but would go great with a crisp white wine.

Really easy Tabbouleh recipe

This should feed 4

Ingredients

  • 300g bulgar wheat and quinoa mix (I got mine from Waitrose but seen them in Tesco too)
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 large tomatoes or 10 cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cucumber
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 lemon
  • 100g flat leaf parsley
  • 50g fresh mint
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Good olive oil
  • Sumac (I bought a small tub in Tesco in the world food aisle white label area)


Optional

  • Feta cheese
  • Pomegranate (Out of season when I made it yesterday so couldn’t find any)
  • Chilli

Instructions

Use a large saucepan as the grain mixture will treble in size and the bigger it is the easier to mix all the other ingredients together too when assembling at the end.

Cook the bulgar and quinoa to packet instructions. Mine said to rinse then cook for 15 minutes, then drain and leave to stand for 10 minutes. You need the mixture to cool beofre mixing the other ingredients so you can do this an hour or two in advance if you like. You need a very fine seive to drain or I used a bowl pressed up against the pan just watch you don’t burn your hands as it gets boiling with the water draining through.

Finely grate the garlic cloves into a small dish along with the zest of the lemon. I used a fine grater I use for parmesan. Cut the lemon in half and add the juice of half to the garlic and lemon zest to the small bowl. I did this as the acid in the lemon will cook the garlic slightly so you don’t get that harsh raw garlic taste, which doesn’t seem to agree with me.

Dice the red onion, tomatoes, cucumber. Finely chop the flat leaf parsley, fresh mint and chilli then either add to the large saucepan with the bulgar wheat and quinoa or if you don’t have a pan big enough empty all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix to combine.

Add the lemon and garlic juice and squeeze the other half of the lemon into the mix. Season with a good helping of black pepper and a bit of sea salt to your liking. If you have any leftover parsley you can always chop that up and sprinkle on top as some recipes use a hell of a lot of the stuff and you might as well use it up.

Drizzle with a good olive oil and sprinkle a couple of teaspoons of Sumac over the top.

This is great as a side for some crispy grilled Ras el Hanout spiced lamb or I used a middle eastern dry rub tin from Marks and Specer mixed with some olive oil then rubbed into the lamb with finely grated garlic and left for an hour to marinade.

You can also knock up a quick mint yogurt sauce combining some mint jelly or sauce you have on your Sunday roast with some greek yogurt. Season to your taste with salt and pepper, maybe some lemon juice and if you’ve got any left some cucumber and red onion and a sprinkle of sugar.

Stuff it all in a pitta bread with some griddled halloumi and devour with a good glass of red.

Ras el hanout lamb patties with pesto courgetti spaghetti recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 medium size red onion
  • 1 of rasel han’out seasoning. Shwartz do one but I got my herbs and spices from Riverside Market in
  • Cardiff.
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1 jar of harrisa paste or jar of dried spice
  • 100ml greek yogurt
  • 2 pitta breads
  • 1/2 pack of halloumi sliced
  • Bag of salad

Instructions

Chop the onion and fry to a light brown colour and set to one side to cool. Cut a crosshatch shape in the mince whilst still in the plastic container and season with the rasel han’out spice mix to taste and depending on strength of mix i used around 2tsp.

Mix the lamb mince, cooked red onion and rasel han’out seasoning in a bowl gently with your fingers making sure not to squeeze too hard or the meat will become too compact and will be dry and tough when cooked. I tend to break bits and massage them into the rest of the clump of meat until combined to a good consistency about 30 seconds then shape into desired patty shape. I don’t like them uniform so just made a kind of oblong rather than burger shape to fit into my pitta bread.

In a bowl mix the yogurt and harrisa paste or dry spice. Add a teaspoon and go from there tasting to get the desired punch from the harrisa. You could also add a squeeze of lemon if you want a bit of extra citrus flavour and set aside to infuse.

Put a griddle pan on a medium to high heat and cook the lamb patties through between 10-15 mins depending on power of the cooker. 5 minutes before the patties are due to cook place the halloumi slices on the griddle to cook. I prefer a crispy halloumi rather than aneamic looking rubber as I love the texture and saltiness it brings out.

Leave the patties rest for a few minutes and put the pitta in the toaster or on the griddle to toast whilst they are resting.

Assemble the patties, griddled halloumi, toasted pitta, tossed salad and a dolop of the harrisa yogurt on a plate and make sure to watch your fingers as you devour your masterpiece.