If you haven’t tried harissa, I strongly urge you to go to your grocery store or look online and order a tub of it. It’s a Tunisian pepper paste, and adds the best flavor to… well, everything. It’s pretty spicy, so a little bit goes a long way. I ordered this Dea brand from Amazon, and I’ve used it to marinate chicken and seafood, as well as flavoring soups and stews.
Chicken breasts are an affordable and healthy protein to keep on hand. I usually buy them in bulk and keep them individually wrapped in the freezer, similar to what I do with salmon fillets. They can be a bit tricky to cook, especially if they are thicker–you have to make sure they are cooked all the way through, but the outside can burn if you don’t control the heat properly. My go-to way of cooking chicken breast is searing them in a pan and finishing them off to roast in the oven. I only made one, but this prep is super easy and can be easily replicated to make a bunch of chicken breasts at one time. Perfect if you’re meal-prepping or cooking for a family!
You will need:
- Chicken breasts
- Harissa paste
- Cajun seasoning
- Lemon wedge
- Vegetable oil
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
Sprinkle a little cajun seasoning over your chicken breasts, and then squeeze some harissa paste on there.
Give it a nice rub so the entire breast is covered. If you have time, you can let these hang out in the fridge for a few hours so they really soak up the flavor. I, however, was in a rush (and by in a rush, I mean I was hungry) so I cooked it right away.
Drizzle an oven safe pan/skillet with vegetable oil and bring up to high heat. Place your chicken breast, seasoned side down, into the pan. Don’t touch it! Let it sear on the outside, for about 2-3 minutes.
Once one side is nice and golden brown, flip the breast over so the other side can sear.
Let it hang out for another 2-3 minutes, squeeze a little lemon juice into the pan, and place the pan into your oven.
Note: if you don’t have a skillet or oven safe pan, no worries! Line a flat baking sheet with aluminum foil and place your chicken on there, squeeze the lemon juice over, and place in the oven.
After about 8 minutes, your chicken should be cooked. It should be firm but springy, and if you’re unsure, you can cut into the middle to check, or stick a meat thermometer in there. The minimum temperature for chicken to cook is 165 degrees.
Remove from the oven, and eat with your favorite sides. I had it with my leftover couscous and asparagus.