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Herb-Marinated Chicken Skewers with Harissa

Andres Barrera briefly marinates chicken in herbs and cumin before skewering and grilling it; then he serves it with a cool chickpea puree and fiery harissa. His harissa is a knockout, scented with toasted and ground cumin seeds, coriander and caraway seeds, but jarred harissa also works.


slideshow  Fast and Easy Chicken Recipes


  • Total Time:
  • Servings: 4

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  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon rosemary leaves

  • 1 teaspoon chopped thyme

  • 1 teaspoon chopped oregano

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

  • Salt

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds

  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds

  • 2 roasted red peppers from a jar, coarsely chopped

  • 1 red Thai chile, with seeds, chopped

  • 1 garlic clove, chopped

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • Salt

  • Hummus, for serving


  1. In a large bowl, mix the olive oil with the rosemary, thyme, oregano and ground cumin. Add the chicken and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.
  2. In a small skillet, toast the cumin, coriander and caraway seeds over moderately high heat, shaking the skillet a few times, until the spices are fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder and let cool completely. Grind to a powder.
  3. In a blender, combine the roasted peppers with the chile, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and ground spices and puree. Season the harissa with salt.
  4. Light a grill. Thread the chicken pieces onto 8 metal skewers. Season with salt and grill over moderately high heat, turning, until nicely charred and just cooked, about 14 minutes. Serve the skewers with the harissa and hummus.

Make Ahead

The harissa can be refrigerated for up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Suggested Pairing

Serve the skewers with a spicy Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.

Contributed By Photo © Fredrika Stjärne Published April 2009

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