HARISSA ROASTED CHICKEN & SLAW

I will admit I was intimidated for years to roast a chicken at home. Only in the past few years did I finally tackle it, and quickly realized there is nothing to fear. Cooking that perfect bird at home is simple, and yes, you can achieve that crispy, golden skin and have juicy, tender and flavorful meat. This method of cooking can be replicated for any seasoning that you might fancy. I truly believe recipes should be a jumping off point, a guide to understand how to literally cook something but not the only way to season it.

I seasoned this chicken with lots of rich, bright spices like dried harissa and sumac, and to balance all those warming flavors I paired with a winter slaw, highlighting peak-season vegetables like cabbage, fennel, celery, and brussels sprouts. This is not your grandmother’s flavorless coleslaw, this is a delight, every bite is a bit different with all the herbs and vegetables and the vinaigrette is so tasty and tangy. 

INGREDIENTS

serves 2-4

chicken

  • 1 organic whole chicken
  • 2 tbsp dried harissa, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tbsp sumac, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tbsp ghee or butter, softened
  • 3 whole heads of garlic, halved
  • 3-5 shallots, halved
  • 1-2 oranges
  • 1 c coconut or greek yogurt
  • Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • Fine & flaky sea salt 
  • Fresh cracked pepper

slaw

  • 1/2 head of green cabbage
  • 3-5 stalks of celery
  • 1 fennel bulb
  • 6 brussels sprouts
  • 1 handful parsley
  • 1 handful cilantro
  • 1 handful fresh mint

dressing

  • 1/3 c extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 cloves garlic grated
  • 1 tbsp white miso
  • 2 tbsp champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp raw honey
  • 1 tsp whole grain mustard
  • Flaky sea salt

METHOD

chicken

Preheat oven to 420°

Pat the chicken dry with a paper towel, then rub the entire chicken with the ghee or butter. Once the chicken is completely coated in butter season the bird with the dried harissa, sumac and fine sea salt. Be liberal with the seasoning and salt. 

Heat the cast iron roasting pan on the stove top, once the pan is very hot (not smoking) add a touch a bit of oil (oil will ripple on the pan, if it smokes it’s too hot). 

Sear the chicken on all sides, this pre-crisps the skin and seals in all the flavor. Skin should be golden brown but does not need to be fully cooked. Finally, lay the chicken, breast side up in the center of the pan.

Cut the heads of garlic in half and nestle them around the chicken, (it’s ok to leave the white garlic skin on). Slice the shallots in half, remove the skins, nestle them in around the chicken. Then slice the orange in half, squeeze half the juice over the chicken and place them in the roasting pan, cut side up. 

Roast the chicken for 45-60 mins, until the internal temp is 155° and allow to rest on the countertop for 10 mins before slicing to allow all the juices to be reabsorbed in the meat. 

slaw

Thinly slice or shave the cabbage, fennel, celery and brussels sprouts on a mandolin or in a food processor and place in a large bowl. You can use a knife too, this is just faster. Tear the hearty stems from the herbs and toss in the cabbage mixture. Grab a few fennel fronds and tear into the bowl. 

In a small bowl, whisk the honey, miso, mustard and garlic, add a pinch of salt. Then slowly pour the oils into the bowl, continuously whisking. Warm the vinaigrette on the stove and toss with the slaw before serving. 

Place the yogurt in a small serving bowl, drizzle with oil and sprinkle harissa/sumac on top. Serve alongside the chicken and slaw.