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Harissa Roasted Chicken with Lentil and Mint Salad

William Meppem

Recipe for Harissa Roasted Chicken with Lentil and Mint Salad by Karl Koppenhagen for MiNDFOOD.

Harissa Roasted Chicken with Lentil and Mint Salad

Serves 4

12 large dried red chillies, deseeded and soaked in warm water

4 cloves garlic

2 tsp salt

6 tbsp cumin seeds, lightly roasted and ground

4 tbsp coriander seeds, lightly roasted and ground

1 tsp cardamom seeds, lightly roasted and ground

1 red capsicum, roasted and peeled

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

extra-virgin olive oil (extra, to cover harissa)

1.4kg free-range corn-fed chicken, well dried

sea salt, to season

200g french green lentils

1 sprig thyme

1 cinnamon quill

1 garlic clove, smashed

2 cups mint leaves, roughly chopped

2 cups flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

1 large fennel bulb, thinly sliced with a mandolin

½ cup extra-virgin olive oil (extra, for salad)

1 tsp ground allspice

1 tsp ground sumach

sea salt (extra), to taste

freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1–2 lemons, zest and juice, to taste

2 lebanese cucumbers, quartered lengthways, to serve

1 cup green olives, to serve

½ cup labna, to serve 

1 To make harissa, combine chilli, garlic, salt, cumin, coriander, cardamom, capsicum and oil in a food processor, blending until a thick paste forms. Put in a jar under a thin film of oil (extra, to cover harissa) and refrigerate until ready to use.

2 Truss the chicken. Rub chicken with ¾ of the harissa, inside and out, pushing it under the skin where possible. Season with sea salt. Refrigerate for 1–2 hours 
(or overnight).

3 Preheat oven to 220C. Roast chicken for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 190C and roast for a further 45 minutes. Baste chicken throughout roasting time. Remove from oven, cover with foil and stand in a warm place for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, to make salad, simmer lentils in 1 litre water with thyme, cinnamon and garlic until lentils are tender but still holding their shape (about 30 minutes). Drain and discard seasonings. Spread lentils on a flat tray to cool. Dress cool lentils with mint, parsley, fennel, oil (extra, for salad), allspice, sumach, sea salt, pepper and lemon zest and juice.

4 Serve chicken whole, carving it at the table, with side serves of lentil salad, remaining harissa, cucumber, olives 
and labna.

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