Roasted Chicken with Harissa
Roasted Chicken with Harissa. Matt Taylor-Gross

Harissa, the ubiquitous North African pepper paste, flavors this juicy roast chicken from Zahav‘s Michael Solomonov, who makes his with ground Aleppo pepper instead of fresh or dried chiles. Solomonov pairs the chicken with his version of Israeli cucumber salad.

Featured in: Eating Israel with Michael Solomonov

Roasted Chicken with Harissa Roasted Chicken with Harissa
An earthy North African Aleppo pepper paste—perfumed with cumin, caraway, and coriander—flavors this juicy roast chicken from chef Michael Solomonov.
Yield: serves 4-6
Time: 5 hours


  • 12 cup Aleppo pepper
  • 14 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 12 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 18 tsp. ground caraway
  • 18 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt, plus more
  • 1 (3 1/2-to-4-lb.) whole chicken
  • 1 tbsp. celery seeds


  1. In a blender or small food processor, combine the Aleppo with the oil, vinegar, cumin, caraway, coriander, and garlic. Season with salt and purée until smooth. Scrape the harissa into a bowl and set aside 2 tablespoons; reserve the remaining for another use.
  2. Using kitchen shears, cut along each side of the chicken’s backbone and remove it. Turn the chicken breast-side-up and press to flatten the chicken. Transfer the chicken, skin side up, to a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet and rub the chicken all over with the harissa, the 1 tablespoon salt, and the celery seeds. Cover the chicken with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  3. Heat the oven to 425°. Roast the chicken until golden brown, about 35 minutes, then let stand 15 minutes before serving.