One-Pot Wonders

Melissa Clark Harissa Chicken with Leeks, Potatoes, and Yogurt

April 15, 2021
5 Stars
Photo by Eric Wolfinger
  • Prep time 45 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 3
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.

Helpful tools for this recipe:
- Rosti Pebble Margrethe Nested Mixing Bowl Set
- Nordic Ware Natural Aluminum Baking Sheets
- Five Two Double-Sided Bamboo Cutting Board

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
Melissa Clark Harissa Chicken with Leeks, Potatoes, and Yogurt
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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    Sarakenna12
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.

65 Reviews

cantao September 18, 2022
I love this recipe! It is such a treat to make for myself, or for company. I have used dairy free yogurt alternatives, subbed half the potato for carrots, and it is perfection! I always make a bit more sauce for drizzling & dipping. Topping with lots of fresh herbs is a MUST. Do yourself a favor and make this recipe.
 
[email protected] March 3, 2022
Wonderfully flavorful! Good enough for company, and easy. Only comment -- doesn't work to combine chicken and potatoes with olive oil, salt, etc ahead and refrigerate and then later (30 min before cooking) add harissa mixture. Chicken and potatoes created their own excess liquid and it was soggy so had to drain off liquid and re-marinate with new batch of harissa. Problem solved, but, now know to prep items individually without salt/olive oil and only combine as cooking time comes closer.
 
Twinkle February 24, 2022
I only had 1lb boneless skinless thighs and about 1lb Dutch gold potatoes so reduced the olive oil down to 3-1/2 tablespoons (probably could've gone down to 3). I used NY Shuk Harissa, which isn't very spicy, so I upped the harissa to 3 tablespoons.

Since my chicken was lacking bones & skin, I was worried about the cook time & temp. I used the leeks as mostly as "cover" to keep the chicken from overcooking but did scatter the remainder throughout the pan to get some frizzled ones. I also popped a separate tray of asparagus into the oven (upper rack) when adding the leeks so I didn't need to reduce the oven temp.

For the yogurt sauce, I used full-fat Greek yogurt thinned with lemon juice and water. I added an extra clove of garlic because I wanted it to have a toum-like taste. I threw in diced English cucumber because I had a nub that needed to be used. Topped the whole tray with lots of fresh chopped parsley and devoured the whole thing.

Definitely a low effort, high reward dinner!
 
Kelsi September 19, 2021
I made this for my picky 9 year old AND my picky dad. We ALL loved it. The fact that we all loved it says something. Absolutely delicious and for sure saving this recipe. Thank you!
 
Emily S. August 7, 2021
Is the recipe calling for wet or dry Harissa?
 
Shari B. August 7, 2021
I’ve made it with both and prefer it wet with the quantity the recipe calls for. I found the dry was a bit too overpowering.
 
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.
 
jmjSF21 October 12, 2021
I use the spicy Mina harissa and it it DELCIOUS. Try it again if you find a harissa with more punch:-)
 
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.