Moroccan Chicken Hash with Harissa Cream

By • December 9, 2010 6 Comments

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Author Notes: Tasty n Sons is a great breakfast tapas place in Portland. One of my favorite dishes is their Moroccan Chicken Hash. It is hearty and completely satisfying. I wanted to make something similar, with little bursts of flavor from preserved lemon and green olives, and warm spiciness from the ras el hanout and harissa. Feel free to omit or add vegetables to your taste—it's a great way to clear out your crisper drawer; in addition to the potatoes, you will want about 4 to 5 cups of chopped veggies. hardlikearmour

Food52 Review: This recipe is great for using up odds and ends in the refrigerator. Even though I followed the exact veggies that are suggested in the recipe, I love that the author gives the option of using other veggie alternatives at the bottom of the recipe.

Some people may not be able to find all of the ingredients (thought Amazon is a great resource for ordering them). I wasn't able to find ras el hanout, so I made up my own version instead, which is great if you need to clean out your spice cupboard as well.

Next time, I'll cook the veggies in the oven for half the allotted time, so that they're only par-cooked and will maintain their shape in the last half of the recipe. Since some vegetables cook faster than others, it might be best to divide them by type on the same baking sheet, so that it's easy to remove the faster cooking vegetables.

The olives and lemon add brightness to the meal, and the harissa sour cream helps to balance the flavours out really well. Over all, this was a really tasty dish; it was a little spicy, citrusy, and briny.
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Serves 4

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Water
  • 1 pound Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 red pepper cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 small head cauliflower, broken into bite-sized florets
  • 1 large handful green beans, stems removed and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups 3/4-inch butternut squash cubes
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon and 1 1/2 teaspoons harissa, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sweet paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ras el hanout
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 cup Greek green olives, rinsed, pitted, and sliced into quarters
  • 3 tablespoons finely diced preserved lemon, peel only
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream or crème fraîche
  1. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Blot chicken breasts dry and season with salt and pepper. Once oil is just starting to smoke, add chicken breasts. Cook until brown on one side, about 3 minutes, then flip the chicken over, add 1/4-inch depth of water to pan, and cover. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook until the thickest part of the chicken is 160° F, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove chicken to a plate, and let rest until cool enough to shred, then shred into bite-sized pieces. Empty water from pan, and wipe pan out with a wad of paper towels; you will be using pan to complete recipe later.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oven to 450° F, with a rack in the upper middle position. In a large bowl, mix potatoes, red pepper, cauliflower, green beans and butternut squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Spread onto a foil- or parchment-lined sheet pan in a single layer. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring midway. Vegetables should just be starting to brown.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in pan over medium-high heat until shimmering, and add diced onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and light brown, about 7 8 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1/3 cup water, 1 tablespoon harissa, sweet paprika, ras el hanout, cumin, and coriander. Add roasted vegetables and carefully mix well. Use a spatula to gently compress the vegetables into an even layer in the pan. Cook undisturbed for 3 minutes, then stir, recompress, and cook undisturbed for 3 more minutes. Carefully mix in shredded chicken, olives, and preserved lemon. Taste for seasoning, and add salt and pepper if needed. Gently compress into an even layer, then using a serving spoon make 4 depressions in the hash. Crack an egg into each depression, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook until eggs are set, checking after about 5 minutes.
  4. While eggs are cooking, mix sour cream or crème fraîche with 1 1/2 teaspoons harissa. Once eggs are set, serve immediately with the harissa cream on the side.
  5. NOTE: Steps 1 & 2 can be completed the night before, but the hash will need to be stirred, compressed, and cooked undisturbed 3 times before adding the chicken.

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