Pleasantly reminiscent of shakshuka, this one-pot dinner has a similar spiced tomato sauce, but uses crispy skinned, cumin-laced chicken thighs instead of eggs. The harissa-spiked sauce is best spooned over an herbed rice or enjoyed with crusty bread to scoop up the melty feta. Roasted vegetables like kale or broccolini would round out the meal nicely. Harissa tends to differ in heat level from brand to brand, so adjust the heat accordingly.
Braised Chicken With Tomatoes, Cumin and Feta
• 2 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 6 thighs)
• Kosher salt and black pepper
• 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon ground cumin
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced (about 2 1/2 cups)
• 3 large garlic cloves, minced or grated
• 1 to 2 tablespoons harissa paste
• 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
• 1/2 cup crumbled feta
• 1/4 packed cup roughly chopped cilantro or flat-leaf parsley leaves and fine stems
• Crusty bread or herbed rice, for serving
Pat the chicken dry, trim away excess fat, then season well all over with salt, pepper and 2 teaspoons cumin.
Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy 12-inch skillet over medium until shimmering. Add the chicken thighs, skin-side down. (It’s OK if they are a little snug; they will shrink as they cook.) Cook without moving until the skin is crispy and easily releases from the pan, about 8 to 10 minutes. Use tongs to turn over and cook until the bottom is lightly browned, 3 to 4 minutes more, then transfer to a plate.
Add the onions to the rendered chicken fat in the skillet, season with salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start to soften, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon cumin and the garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in the harissa and let cook for about 1 minute. Add the crushed tomatoes, and season with salt. Bring the mixture to a boil over high, then adjust the temperature to maintain an active simmer. Cook until it becomes a deeper red color, about 5 minutes more.
Add any juices that collected on the plate, stir to mix, then nestle in the chicken thighs, skin-side up, so that the skin is above the sauce. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer, then partly cover and cook until the chicken is tender and cooked through, 15 to 18 minutes. (If you’d like crispier skin, pop the chicken under the broiler for a minute or two.)
Garnish with the feta and cilantro and serve with bread or herbed rice.
Total time: 45 minutes, serves 4.