Harissa Roast Chicken

(Last Updated On: 15 November 2020)

One of my good friends recently asked me for inspiration for what to cook on a Sunday during the summer. A summertime Sunday roast if you will. Piping on gravy on a hot summers day is not the one, and that’s coming from me, a confessed gravy whore! My first Sunday Summer dish is Harissa Roast Chicken.

I absolutely LOVE a Sunday Roast; I cook one every Sunday we’re home. Well, almost. On a rare occasion, the weather in the UK is stunning, so we give the traditional, and huge, roast dinner a miss. The reason is two-fold; firstly, a making Sunday lunch is hot work, and two; eating a Sunday lunch is HOT work.

Bottom Left: quartered roast chicken, on a scrumpled piece of brown greaseproof paper set against a white concrete effect worksurface. Directly above there is a tray of roasted red peppers, red onions and bright green courgettes. Slightly below the veg, to the right, there is a bowl of roasted baby potatoes covered in greek yoghurt.

There is something about Sunday that makes me want my meat and two veg, and I’m not alone in that thinking. I was asked for inspiration. This is my first recipe on request. So here we have Harissa Roast Chicken.

To create a summer Sunday roast, I needed to answer the question “what makes a roast dinner?” and pull out the key elements. I’m afraid to say the answer wasn’t 400 Yorkshire puddings and a gallon of gravy; we’ll go for that in peak winter. I decided the criteria for this recipe were: one roasted meat, potatoes and vegetables, sounds basic, but actually, this recipe is rather swell.

Glass baking dish containing chunks of red pepper, quartered red onion and thick chunks of courgette.

What’s this Harissa Roast Chicken then?

Harissa is one of my favourite ingredients for basting and roasting. It’s so flavourful and, I don’t know, it just screams summer to me. Mixing harissa and honey gives a sweet, spicy coating to the chicken, and the honey will make sure it goes sticky and sweet. For the marinade combine harissa, honey, oil, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt and white pepper, in the quantities below, and brush all over a spatchcocked chicken.

Ingredients for Harissa rub for chicken from left to right; white pepper, sunflower oil, Garlic Powder, Lemon, Harissa Paste, Honey and Salt
Deep red harissa chicken rub in a white bowl, along with a silver spoon.

How do you spatchcock a chicken?

To spatchcock a chicken, take a pair of sharp kitchen scissors and cut down the backbone of the chicken, and flatten it out. It’s super simple and will speed up the cooking of the bird.

Check out this super quick video from BBC Good Food.

What should I serve with my Harissa Roast Chicken?

The sides I’ve chosen for this summery Sunday bonanza are a roasted new potato salad with creamy greek yoghurt and refreshing mint, which covered the potato element. For the vegetable element we’re going with roasted peppers, red onion and courgettes with lemon juice, simple, but super summery.

Baby potato in a glass bowl covered in greek yoghurt. Flecks of green mint and parsley cover the potatoes

Can I cook the chicken on a BBQ?

HELL YES! If you have a garden and a BBQ I would 100% recommend finishing the chicken off over the coals, it’ll be PERFECT. Start the chicken off in the oven though and cook for 25 – 30 minutes, and then get it on the grill. The skin will go gorgeously crispy, just make sure your chicken is cooked through before serving.

Harissa Roast Chicken

This Harissa Chicken is one of my many takes on a summer Sunday lunch; served with a creamy roasted new potato salad and roasted summer veg. 
Servings 4 people
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr


  • 1 medium-size Chicken
  • 2 tablespoon Harissa Paste
  • 2 tablespoon Honey
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • Juice of half lemon


  • 20 baby potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons greek yoghurt
  • 6 mint leaves finely chopped
  • small handful parsley finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika


  • 2 red onions
  • 2 red peppers
  • 2 courgettes
  • 4 – 5 sprigs thyme
  • juice of half lemon
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • large pinch salt


  • Pre-heat oven to 200 Celcius. 
  • Spatchcock chicken and place on a large baking tray (see above for how to spatchcock chicken)
  • In a small bowl combine harissa paste, honey, oil, juice of half a lemon garlic powder, salt and white pepper and mix well. 
  • Use half of the paste and brush all over the skin of the chicken, place in the oven for 45 – 50 minutes. Basting with the remainder of the honey rub every 10 minutes. 
  • Place potatoes in a pan of generously salted water and bring to a boil, boil for about 10 minutes. 
  • Deseed and chop red peppers, peel and quarter red onions and chop courgette into large chunks. Toss them in oil and the juice of half a lemon, sprinkle over a large pinch of sea salt and 4 – 5 sprigs of thyme. 
  • Roast the vegetables in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  • Drain the potatoes, toss in olive oil and roast for 15 – 20 minutes 
  • Remove potatoes from oven and place in a large bowl, add remaining ingredients for potatoes and stir well to combine. 
  • Remove the chicken from the oven and portion into four pieces. 
  • Serve all the dishes in the centre of the table, so that everyone can help themselves. 


Finishing the Chicken on the BBQ: Remove the chicken from the oven after 25 – 30 minutes, and cook over coals. Ensure the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear before serving. 
Author: JPLongland
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: BBQ, Roast
Keyword: Family Favourites, gluten free, Sunday Lunch
In Season: August, July, June, September

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

© Copyright The Accidental Chef 2020. All rights reserved.