Archive of BBC Food Recipes

Chicken with harissa, lemon and anchovy butter

Prep time over 2 hours
Cook time over 2 hours
Serves 2
From Saturday Kitchen
Get hold of some spicy harissa paste for these flavour-packed tender chicken breasts with an almond and raisin salad.


  1. For the lemon and anchovy butter, place the butter in a bowl and add the lemon zest, anchovy fillets, garlic, coriander seeds and one teaspoon of the harissa. Mash them all together and add the lemon juice bit by bit. Check the seasoning.

  2. Take a double layer of aluminium foil. Place the butter in a long sausage shape at one end and roll it up. Then twist the ends of the foil in opposing directions to form a tight roll. Chill for four hours in the fridge to set.

  3. For the chicken, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

  4. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and rub the remaining harissa over the skin. Heat a heavy oven-proof pan on the hob along with a splash of oil. Once hot, place the chicken in skin-side down and fry for several minutes until lightly coloured.

  5. Transfer to the oven and cook for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5-10 minutes in the cooking pan, keeping it warm.

  6. To serve, tear the top leafy part of the watercress from the bunch and put in a salad bowl. Add the almonds, raisins and spring onions. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle over a little olive oil and red wine vinegar. Mix well and pile onto a serving plate. Cut the breasts in half and pile on top of the salad. Finally, melt a few thin slices of the lemon and anchovy butter and drizzle over the chicken.


For the lemon and anchovy butter

  • 250g/9oz unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large lemon, zest and juice
  • 6 salted anchovy fillets in oil, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp harissa
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • ½ tsp coriander seeds, lightly toasted in a dry frying pan

For the chicken

  • 2 chicken breasts, skin on
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 bunch watercress
  • 50g/1¾oz salted Marcona almonds
  • 1 tbsp soft yellow raisins
  • 3 spring onions, finely sliced
  • red wine vinegar, to taste

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