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Grilled chicken thighs with harissa and mint

Chicken thighs (Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe; Food Styling/Sheryl Julian, Catherine Smart, and Jill Gibson)
May 25, 2011

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Serves 4

Common in North Africa, harissa is a Tunisian hot sauce usually made from chili peppers, ground coriander, caraway, tomato paste, and olive oil. Other recipes might include a combination of cumin, sweet peppers, lemon, and garlic. Harissa is easy to find ready prepared in Middle Eastern markets. Here, it is rubbed onto chicken thighs before grilling. The yogurt in the marinade helps to tenderize the chicken.

2 tablespoons harissa paste
1/4cup yogurt
5 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 bone-in chicken thighs (skin intact)
1 lemon, cut into wedges
1 bunch fresh mint, stemmed, leaves torn into pieces

1. In a large bowl that will hold all the chicken later, stir together the harissa paste and yogurt. With a whisk, stir in the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add the chicken, turn well, cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or for up to 8 hours.

2. Light a charcoal grill or turn a gas grill to medium-high.

3. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Grill it for about 20 minutes, turning several times, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees. Serve on the bone or sliced off the bone with lemon wedges and mint.

Jonathan Levitt