One-Pot Wonders

Harissa Chicken with Leeks, Potatoes, and Yogurt

April 15, 2021
29 Ratings
Photo by Eric Wolfinger
Author Notes

One of my all-time favorites, this sheet-pan supper has it all—spicy harissa-laced roasted chicken; sweet, browned leeks; crunchy potatoes; plus a cool garnish of salted yogurt and plenty of fresh bright herbs. It’s a little lighter than your average roasted chicken and potatoes dinner, and a lot more profoundly flavored.

The key here (and with all sheet-pan suppers) is to make sure the ingredients can all cook together on the same pan. This means cutting sturdy, denser things into smaller chunks that will cook at the same rate (chicken, potatoes), and adding the more delicate ingredients (here, the leeks) toward the end so they don’t burn. Another important note: don’t overpopulate the pan. You need to leave space between things so ingredients can brown and crisp rather than steam. If you want to double the recipe to feed six, you can, as long as you spread everything out in two pans rather than crowding them in one.

Reprinted from Dinner. Copyright © 2017 by Melissa Clark. Photographs copyright © 2017 by Eric Wolfinger. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC. —Melissa Clark

Watch This Recipe
Harissa Chicken with Leeks, Potatoes, and Yogurt
  • Prep time 45 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 3
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs and drumsticks
  • 1 1/4 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 by 1/2-inch chunks
  • 3 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons harissa
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 2 leeks, white and light green parts, halved lengthwise, rinsed, and thinly sliced into half-moons
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/3 cup plain yogurt, preferably whole-milk (if using Greek, thin it down with a little milk to make it drizzle-able
  • 1 small garlic clover
  • 1 cup mixed soft fresh herbs such as dill, parsley, mint, and/or cilantro leaves
  • 1 splash fresh lemon juice, as needed
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Combine the chicken and potatoes in a large bowl. Season them with 2½ teaspoons of the salt and ½ teaspoon of the pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together the harissa, cumin, and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Pour this mixture over the chicken and potatoes, and toss to combine. Let it stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the leeks, lemon zest, ¼ teaspoon of the salt, and the remaining 1½ tablespoons olive oil.
  3. Heat the oven to 425°F.
  4. Arrange the chicken and potatoes in a single layer on a large rimmed baking sheet, and roast for 20 minutes. Then toss the potatoes lightly, and scatter the leeks over the baking sheet. Roast until the chicken is cooked through and everything is golden and slightly crisped, 20 to 25 minutes longer.
  5. While the chicken cooks, place the yogurt in a small bowl. Grate the garlic clove over the yogurt, and season with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  6. Spoon the yogurt over the chicken and vegetables in the baking sheet (or you can transfer everything to a platter if you want to be fancy about it). Scatter the herbs over the yogurt, drizzle some olive oil and lemon juice over the top, and serve.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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Melissa Clark writes about cuisine and other products of appetite. After brief forays working as a cook in a restaurant kitchen, and as a caterer out of her fifth floor walk-up, Clark decided upon a more sedentary path. She earned an M.F.A. in writing from Columbia University, and began a freelance food writing career. Currently, she is a food columnist for the New York Times, and has written for Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Every Day with Rachel Ray, and Martha Stewart, amongst others. All told, Clark has written over 30 cookbooks. Clark was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, where she now lives with her husband, Daniel Gercke, their preschool daughter Dahlia, and their formerly cosseted cat.

57 Reviews

Suedb June 5, 2021
Tried this chicken recipe for the first time this evening for the family, and WOW! What a tasty dish! Will definitely think about doing this as a supper for friends very soon. I stuck to the recipe exactly and did not make any substitutions, which gives a fabulous combination of flavours, the spicy harissa chicken cooled by the garlicky yoghurt, complimented by roasted potatoes and lemony leeks. Perfect meal for family and friends.
 
Jane May 15, 2021
I made this last night with Mina, mild Harris a, the only brand at my grocery store. It was completely tasteless. I used chicken thighs, Yukon gold potatoes, and rather expesive leeks.
The left overs went straight into the trash.
 
Shari B. February 13, 2021
Like many here, I’ve made this many times to rave review. I’ve tried it with ras el hanout instead of harissa too. Delish!!
 
galebv February 1, 2021
An amazing go-to. Everyone loves this - it's so flavorful and easy!
I always add a bit more spice to the mix and more garlic in the sauce and overall a bit more of the sauce for everyone to enjoy. This is delightful!!
 
Katie L. November 5, 2020
This is one of our family's all-time favorite dinners. Have made it many times in the past year since a friend shared it on Facebook raving about it. I do put a bit less harissa in just because we have someone sensitive to spice. I always use all 4 fresh herbs at the end if possible. I'm always amazed how flavorful this dish is when there really isn't that many ingredients.
 
Sally H. November 3, 2020
I subbed carrots in for the potatoes, and they were caramelized and delicious, along with the leeks - YUM!
 
CieJae April 20, 2020
Made this today, expecting leftovers, but there are none. My husband is a picky eater, but loved this dish. It was delicious. I did use tzatziki instead, since I had it made.
 
Jennifer L. March 16, 2020
Every time I make this for people, it gets rave reviews. So flavorful: zesty, spicy, earthy. It’s a sure thing
 
Cindy January 28, 2020
So so good! Made a homemade tzatziki sauce instead of the simple yogurt sauce suggested, and used chicken breasts because that's what I had on hand, but those were the only changes I made. Will make again.
 
erodg January 19, 2020
I've made this a bunch of times. Spicy and great. Trader Joe's has better harissa than Whole Foods. Spicier, thicker. Leeks are divine.
 
roryrabbitfield January 8, 2020
I need a vegetarian protein in the mix for two people in my household. Would it work to chuck in some firm tofu, sliced thick?
 
DC's P. January 19, 2020
I sometimes bake firm tofu sliced thick (about 1-inch) and smeared on one side with a siracha then baked. I think a smear of harissa paste rather than siracha would work really well, too, but different temp (350 degrees) and timing (25-30 minutes).
 
Pamela October 21, 2019
So delicious and so easy! Love the one-pan clean up. I've actually had to alter the recipe a fair amount and it still works beautifully (We don't eat leeks so I've tried beans, asparagus, and cauliflower, all delish; I didn't have harissa so I've used Cholula; etc). I can't say enough good things about a flexible, easy, convenient recipe like this!
 
Sarakenna12 September 26, 2019
You guys! Make this. It is amazing. I made it for friends tonight, and as per usual made waayyy too much food.... except it wasn’t too much because people got second and third helpings. Third helpings! It was like locusts swarming in my kitchen. People couldn’t get enough. At least 4 people asked for the recipe and literally everyone said “Oh my God, this is delicious!” I feel like a rock star. The recipe is easy to put together. Takes a while to cook and for the chicken to crisp but it’s inactive cook time. The leeks are surprisingly important to the final dish. The yogurt sauce is CLUTCH. I poured some over the chicken for serving and then set the extra on the side and the bowl was scraped clean by the end of the night.
 
erodg September 5, 2019
Just made this tonight with a jar of Harissa from Trader Joe's. Excellent! Nice new taste. Even the 13 and 15 year old children enjoyed. Many thanks, Melissa! (heard this from your new podcast)
 
DC's P. August 23, 2019
Love this recipe, and I have made it several times now. The only change I made was to switch out thick wedges of red onions when it calls for leeks and proceed with the recipe and timing. The onions stay somewhat crunchy and charred without sweating (unlike when I added thin slices of onion, which sweated a ton of liquid and ruined the browning and crispness of the dish. The yogurt with torn mint leaves are a must.
 
Anya June 12, 2019
This was sooooo good. I can’t believe how easy it is. This is my new favorite chicken recipe!!
 
Gail May 21, 2019
I made this tonight for the first time. Divine. My husband is still eating (large helping of seconds as I doubled the recipe) and I am still feeling the heat that I love in my mouth. I will be making this again for dinner guests. Thank you!
 
Emily E. May 16, 2019
This recipe is seriously upping my cooking cred. As a relatively new cook, this recipe is manageable for a weeknight meal and so delicious! I couldn't find harissa, so I subbed Sambal Oelek chili paste and it's the perfect amount of kick.
 
Laura M. May 7, 2019
I totally made the yogurt dressing and forgot to add it, and this recipe was STILL amazing!! I tried it on my last few bites, and it somehow made it even better. I also forgot the herbs (apparently I was hungry), so next time, I will add an unnecessary additional layer of flavor of herbs that will likely take it up another notch--somehow.
 
ifjuly March 4, 2019
filing this one under "dinners so good you could cry"! everything about it was so good: the cooling (in both senses of the word) garlic yogurt dressing, the lemon zest-coated leeks, the heat and crispiness of the chicken and potatoes...gah. and not that this ever takes top consideration personally for me with food (!) but it was also gorgeous, with the most beautiful, stunning array of colors (sunny oranges and reds, pale pearly pink from the yogurt and pomegranate seeds i added per comments, vivid fresh sparkly green from the herbs), the sort of thing that cheers you up at the end of winter. i followed the comments below about letting the sheet pans (i did double the recipe for leftovers and am so glad i did!) preheat in the oven cranked to 500F, then lowering oven temp once food actually goes in to ensure crispness, and i think it might've contributed to keeping my doubled batch from soggy steaming over crispy roasting (that and i did use 2 separate sheet pans as Clark emphasized; i've learned the "don't overcrowd!" lesson the hard way before). wonderful wonderful dish (Clark always so many dinner winners i don't know how she does it), and wonderful community for the super helpful comments thread too.