Chicken quarters rubbed with a deep flavored chili sauce called Harissa brings a new flavor to your grill.  For anyone who likes a bit of heat, this grilled chicken is the hot ticket.  The perfect dish to serve your adventurous friends at your next backyard BBQ.

We enjoyed the spicy harissa chicken with some warmed naan bread, cucumber riata (to cool the heat), and a chickpea and couscous salad. What an exciting combination of flavors, and so easy to do. Next time you are looking for something a bit different to serve at a backyard barbecue, I hope you will give this a try. You and your guests will be astonished at the deep, rich, flavor of this tender chicken.

Harissa Grilled Chicken
Prep Time
3 hrs
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
3 hrs 20 mins
Tender grilled chicken covered in a spicy deep flavored chili sauce.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Moroccan, North African
Servings: 4
  • 4 chicken quarters
  • 1 cup harissa
  1. Rub chicken with harissa paste, covering all surfaces.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 2 – 3 hours.
  3. Heat grill on high. Turn off one half of the grill.
  4. On the side with no heat, place the chicken on a wire rack over a pan with about on inch of water in the bottom (indirect method).
  5. Close the lid, and cook for about 40 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165° F. (Cooking time will vary drastically depending on your cut of chicken. I used quarters which took about 50 minutes).
  6. Allow chicken to rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Cooks Notes

Chicken thighs or breast work equally as well for this dish.  I highly recommend wearing gloves when working with Harissa. 

Prep Time
1 hr

Peppers, garlic, and spices are used to create an amazingly deep flavored chili sauce called harissa.

Course: Sauce
Cuisine: North African
Servings: 1 cup
  • 10-12 dried red chili peppers
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground caraway seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  1. Soak the dried chilies in hot water for 30 – 45 minutes. Drain. Remove stems and seeds (I kept about half of the seeds to add heat).
  2. Place all ingredients in a food processor and puree.
  3. Store harissa in the refrigerator in a tightly closed jar.
Cooks Notes

I find it very helpful to wear gloves when handling hot peppers.


4 Responses

  1. Sid's Sea Palm Cooking

    This is great, I found you on Carole’s Chatter, her Food on Friday. Now for my question. What are the three chile’s. I believe I see Ancho and Guajillo but not too sure of the third one. Could you please share.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Christoph

      Thanks for stopping by to check the recipe out. I believe the the third is chili de arbol, however I do think any peppers available would be suitable. I have found that using multiple kinds of peppers really rounds out the flavor. If you give it a go, let me know how you like it. Cheers!

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