A lot of you might be thinking “What is harissa?”.  To be honest, I didn’t know what it was until I tried this recipe.  Harissa is a hot sauce used in North African cuisine. It is made from chili peppers, paprika, and olive oil.  And if you’ve never tried charred romaine, you’re missing out!  The lettuce caramelizes, highlighting its natural sweetness.  This is an excellent dish for grill night.


  • Two 6-oz. skin-on boneless chicken breasts
  • Chicken seasoning blend of harissa powder, garlic powder, sweet smoked paprika (may have to shop at African cuisine supermarket or blend ingredients to taste)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • 1.5 oz. Marcona almonds
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 lemon
  • Fresh cilantro
  • 2 romaine hearts
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil


  • Large frying pan
  • Sheet pan
  • Zester
  • 2 small bowls
  • Cutting board
  • Knife

If it hasn’t been emphasized in past recipes, wash produce before use.


  1. Defrost chicken and run under warm water until tender.  Pat the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel.  Rub the chicken all over with the seasoning blend and season generously with salt and pepper.  Let stand while you prepare the artichoke tapenade and vinaigrette.
  2. Finely chop the garlic.  Coarsely chop the almonds.  Strip the parsley leaves from the stems and coarsely chop the leaves.  Zest and juice the lemon.  In a bowl, combine the garlic and almonds.  Alternately, add them to a food processor and pulse 2-3 times to make a coarse paste.  Stir in the parsley, lemon zest, and 2 teaspoons of oil.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Strip the cilantro leaves and finely chop.  In a bowl, combine the cilantro, 1.5 tablespoons of lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons of oil.  Season to taste with salt.
  4. Slice the romaine hearts in half lengthwise.  In a pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil until hot but not smoking.  Add the chicken, skin sides down, and cook until browned and cooked through (5-7minutes per side).  Transfer to a plate to rest.  If the pan is dry, add 1 tablespoon of oil and warm over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking.  Cut sides of the romaine hearts down.  Then add the romaine hearts and cook until browned and slightly wilted (4-5 minutes).  Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Transfer the chicken breasts and romaine hearts to individual plates.  Garnish with the tapenade, drizzle with the cilantro vinaigrette, and serve.  Enjoy! Cool

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