I recently made this recipe from Bon Appetit where you start with skin-on chicken thighs in a COLD cast-iron pan. For me, I had always, always started my meat in a hot pan and would never have thought to have the pan be cold. But then I made this recipe and fell in love with how it crisped up the chicken skin just in time to turn them and finish the chicken off in the oven.
I love the harissa in most things, and especially in this recipe. My go-to brand is from Entube, it simply the best and easy to use. After making this recipe the first time, I have continued to use this chicken method for other recipes as well, or simply adjusting this recipe depending on what ingredients I have on hand. Leaving out the harissa, adding carrots or celery, options are open.
One Skillet Harissa Chicken Thighs
4 small bone-in, skin on chicken thighs
6 ounces small potatoes, halved
1 tablespoon harissa paste
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium leeks, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1/2 lemon, juiced
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Pat chicken dry with a paper towel and season with salt. Using a medium cast-iron pan (a dutch oven style oven proof pan would work great as well), place the chicken skin side down and arrange potatoes around the chicken. Now turn on the skillet to medium. Occasionally turn the potatoes, but do not touch the chicken. After 15 minutes, using a fish spatula peak under the chicken to see if the skin is crisp and is releasing from the pan.
Transfer the potatoes and chicken skin side up to a plate and set aside, leaving the chicken fat in the pan. Add the harissa to the pan and swirl around, then pour harissa sauce into a small bowl and set aside.
Add one tablespoon of oil in the skillet and add the leeks, garlic, and half of the leek. Stir together, covered with a lid and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the chicken skin side up and the potatoes back to the skillet, and then into the oven for 12-15 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
In a small bowl, toss together remaining fennel slicing with 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and olive oil, seasoning with salt.
Squeeze in the remaining lemon juice into the harissa bowl and stir together.
To serve, place the fennel salad over top of the chicken and potato mix. Pour harissa dressing over top or serve on the side.