Harissa Roasted Chicken with Garlic Shallot Sauce and Radish Microgreens

I was excited to tune into Cherry Bombe’s Julia Jubilee, where the country’s top chef, bakers, writers and food stylists celebrated the legend of Julia Child. Food Stylists & Secrets with Susan Spungen, the food stylist who brought on all the food in the movie Julie & Julia, was a conversation and demo with Mariana Velasquez. As Susan talked about her experiences filming the movie and her real life encounters with Julia Child, she whipped up an easy cheese souffle, and this gorgeous Rosy Harissa Chicken. Rosy harissa is a spice created by nyshuk.com and has delicate rose petals blended with sundried chili peppers. In styling the chicken, Susan amped up its beauty with a sprinkle of dried roses. I was inspired by her easy. rustic presentation, and by the simple, yet flavorful, ingredients of the recipe, so I made it! On the left is the Rosy Harissa Chicken, next to my Roasted Harissa Chicken with Garlic Shallot Sauce and Radish Microgreens. I made a few substitutes from her original recipe, using paprika in exchange for the rosy harissa spice blend, radish microgreens instead of rose petals, and employing a mini-prep food processor to put the sauce together. I loved the succulent chicken, soaked overnight in kefir the harissa spiced crispy skin and the silky, pungent sauce. I served this with thyme roasted yellow Finn potatoes and carrots from the farmers market, but it would be equally delicious with Israeli couscous or toasted country bread.

Roasted Harissa Chicken with Garlic Shallot Sauce and Radish Microgreens


1½ tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
One 4- to 5-pound chicken
2/3 cup kefir

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
4 garlic cloves, grated on a Microplane
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 tablespoons harissa, plus more to taste
2 large or 4 small shallots, cut in half with skin removed (about 4 ounces)
1 head garlic
1/2 lemon to roast, 1/2 lemon to serve
3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme
1½ tablespoons NY Shuk brand Rosey Harissa or paprika
Radish microgreens


Combine 1½ tablespoons of the salt and the black pepper in a small bowl. Place the chicken in a wide, shallow work bowl and season it inside and out with the mixture.

In a separate bowl, combine the kefir, lemon juice, grated garlic, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, the thyme leaves, and plain harissa. Place the chicken in a 1-gallon resealable plastic bag. Pour the mixture over the chicken and use a rubber spatula to help coat the chicken all over, inside and out, with the mixture. Squeeze as much of the air out of the bag as possible. Refrigerate for at least 8 hours and up to 24 hours, turning occasionally.

Preheat the oven to 400°F. 

Scatter the shallots in a small roasting pan or other heavy 9 by 13-inch pan. Remove the chicken from the marinade and let the excess coating drip off, leaving a thin coating, and put it in the pan. Cut off the top third of the garlic head. Put the large part facedown in the pan and the small part in the cavity. Put the lemon half cut-side down in the pan. Sprinkle the thyme sprigs on top. Add ¼ cup water to the pan.

Roast the chicken for 45 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. 

Sprinkle the chicken with the Rosey Harissa or paprika and start basting with whatever juices have collected in the pan and in the cavity. Roast, basting every 15 minutes or so and adding ¼ cup water if the pan looks dry, until the leg feels very loose when jiggled, 1 hour and 30 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes. The idea is to let it dry a little so the flavors and juices caramelize but do not burn. Always add ¼ cup water before it starts to burn.

Transfer the chicken to a carving board to rest. Squeeze the lemon and garlic into the pan juices. Place the pan juices, garlic and shallots into the cup of a food processor or blender. Process until smooth, and whisk in extra harissa if you want extra heat. 

Pour the sauce on a platter. Carve the chicken and arrange it on the platter to soak up the sauce but maintain the crispy skin. Sprinkle the radish microgreens over the top of the chicken and on the serving platter to wilt. Serve with additional fresh lemon.

Did you make this recipe? Tag your photo #familyfarmbox


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