Harissa (or hereesa) is a fiery hot chili and garlic paste used extensively in the Maghreb region, but mainly in Tunisia. Usually served with couscous. Traditionally, it is made hot red chilies. but here I replace them with fresh green chilies and use the mix Middle Eastern markets either in tubes or cans, and it will work equally well in this dish.Roast chicken with hot green chilies

Serves 4

Preparation time: 1 hour 25 minutes


  • Small blender
  • Roasting pan with rack


  •  ¼ large bunch cilantro stalks (from the chopped cilantro used in the harissa)
  • 3¼ lb. whole free-range chicken
  • 3 tbsp. virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened

For the green harissa paste  

  • 6 long green chilies, seeded finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • dried mint 1 tbsp.
  • 1 tbsp. ground coriander
  • 5 tbsp. virgin olive oil salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 4000F. for the harissa. Place all the ingredients in a small blender except for the oil and salt. Whiz to a smooth paste. Then add enough oil to form a paste and season with a little salt.
  2. Place the cilantro stalks in the body cavity of the chicken.
  3. Using your fingers, gently separate the chicken skin from the breast meat and spread the harissa paste evenly under the skin. Covering as much of the flesh as possible. Rub any remaining paste over the legs and outside of the chicken.
  4. Place the chicken on a rack in a roasting pan, drizzle with the olive oil, and rub the butter over it. Place in the oven for 1-1½ hours or until cooked and the juices run clear when the leg is pierced with a sharp knife.
  5. Serve the whole chicken on a serving dish, or cut into pieces if preferred, with the pan juices poured on top and accompanied by steamed couscous.This dish is also excellent with quail instead of chicken — use two quails for each serving.  
  6. Now ready your Roast chicken with hot green chilies

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