Crispy Chicken Thighs with Harissa Schmaltz

Crispy AF

I'm all about a flavorful recipe that utilizes affordable cuts of meat and healthy-ish accompaniments, especially for week-night suppers. I stumbled across this Bon Appétit recipe that highlights the splendor of bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs -- a favorite protein of mine.  Upon discovering it was a one-pan meal with minimal items to prep, I was hooked.  

I used green harissa, a little more salt/pepper, and a bit less oil for my desired recipe perfection, and I have made it twice more since.  I'll include the original recipe below with my modifications in italics, and I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does (cat approval counts)!

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Crispy Chicken Thighs with Harissa Schmaltz

Hangry Timer: 45 minutes
Feeds: 4
Cost: $20

What You Need:

4 small bone-in, skin-on Chicken Thighs (about 2 lbs. total)
Kosher salt
6 ozs. very small Potatoes, halved if wider than 1 inch
1 Tbsp. mild harissa paste (I use the green harissa sauce from Cava Mezze)
2 Tbsps. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 medium Leeks, halved lengthwise, cleaned, thinly sliced
4 Garlic Cloves, crushed
1 Fennel Bulb, very thinly sliced, fronds reserved for serving
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, divided

What TO DO WITH IT:

Arrange a rack in top third of oven; preheat to 425°. Season chicken with salt and place, skin side down, in a cold cast-iron or other ovenproof skillet. Arrange potatoes around chicken. Heat skillet over medium and cook, without moving chicken but turning potatoes occasionally, until chicken skin is browned, crisp, and releases with just a bit of coaxing from a spatula, 14–16 minutes.

Transfer chicken skin side up and potatoes to a plate, leaving as much fat in skillet as possible. Let skillet cool slightly, then add harissa. Return skillet to medium heat and cook harissa, stirring occasionally, until fragrant and sizzling, about 30 seconds. Pour off harissa schmaltz into a small bowl; set aside.

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in same skillet over medium. I did not add any additional oil. Add leeks, garlic, and three-quarters of sliced fennel and cook, covered but stirring occasionally, until softened, 8–10 minutes. It was about 6-8 minutes for me. Return chicken skin side up and potatoes to skillet. Transfer to oven and roast until chicken is cooked through and juices run clear when pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 10–12 minutes.  I broiled my skillet for 5 minutes at the end of the cooking time to achieve maximum crispiness.

Meanwhile, toss 1 Tbsp. lemon juice and remaining sliced fennel and 1 Tbsp. oil in a small bowl; season with salt. Add remaining 2 Tbsp. lemon juice to reserved harissa schmaltz and stir to combine; season with salt. I used ~2 Tbsp. to really brighten up the schmaltz.

Transfer chicken and potatoes to a platter. Top with fennel salad, then fennel fronds. Drizzle with harissa dressing. Devour.


  Leek and fennel caramelization. 

Leek and fennel caramelization. 

  Schmaltz.

Schmaltz.

  Mise.

Mise.

  Resting chicken.

Resting chicken.

  Fin.

Fin.

  Follow me on Instagram  @hangrymichelle , duh.

Follow me on Instagram @hangrymichelle, duh.


★★★