Harissa Chicken Thighs & Saffron Rice

Juicy Crispy Chicken Thighs

Harissa chicken thighs & saffron rice are a flavor punch to your taste buds. There is nothing better than sitting in on a cold night and having a warm plate of spicy chicken.

I was surprised when I first tried harissa paste, it had a warming sensation followed by sweetness on your palate. What’s not to like, right! Try this recipe out with some saffron rice and let me know what you think of it. If you like a lot of heat add more harissa and less if you just want a bit of warmth on the plate. If you like this why not try creamy orzo and chicken as well. Unlike the harissa chicken thighs and saffron rice, it will have no heat but a much creamier texture. Enjoy!

Crispy Harissa Chicken Thighs with Saffron Rice

Succulent Crispy Chicken with a spicy hit
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: dinner
Cuisine: iran, north african
Keyword: Crispy harissa chicken, saffron rice
Servings: 2 people


  • 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 2 large Chicken Thighs or 4 small
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Pinch of Pepper
  • 2 small Shallots finely chopped
  • 2 small Garlic Cloves finely minced
  • 2-4 tablespoons Harissa Paste depending on how much heat you want
  • ½ tsp Nutmeg
  • 500 ml Chicken Stock
  • 15 grams Coriander roughly chopped
  • 2 small Spring Onions sliced diagonally
  • 1 medium Lime cut into wedges
  • Pinch of Saffron threads generous pinch
  • 150 grams Basmati Rice rinsed until clear
  • 300 ml Boiling Water


  • Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper.
  • Heat the oil over a medium-high heat. Add the chicken thighs skin side down until browned and crispy, about 5/6 minutes. Turn them over and brown for another 5/6 minutes. Transfer to plate and set aside.
  • Pour off the excess oil and leave one tablespoon in the pan. Cook the shallots on a medium-low heat until soft, add the garlic and cook for 20 seconds more. Stir in the harissa and nutmeg.
  • Put the chicken thighs back in skin side up and pour in the stock. You want it to come up to 3/4 of the way. Just up as far as the crispy skin. Bring it to a simmer, cover and cook until done. This should take about 20/25 minutes.
  • While the chicken is cooking, put the saffron and rice into a pot of boiling water. Cook until soft and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Try some and if it still has a bite cook for a few minutes longer. When cooked, drain in a colander and fluff the rice with a fork.
  • To serve: spoon the rice onto the center of the plate and place the chicken thighs on top. Spoon over the harissa sauce and add the chopped coriander and spring onions. Serve with some lime wedges and enjoy!

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