Recipe Review: Harissa Chicken with Leeks, Potatoes, and Yogurt from Dinner: Changing the Game
One Pan and Done: Dinner Duty Done Right
In honor of Food52 Piglet Tournament of Cookbooks, I'm sharing a few of my favorite recipes from some of the competing cookbooks. Today, I review the Harissa Chicken recipe from Dinner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark. [NOTE: This post contains SPOILERS of the Piglet competition, so read the judgement first.]
Are you refreshing your feed every 30 seconds like I am in hopes of catching the new judgement in the Piglet Tournament of Books? The competition started on Monday jumping right in with two heavy hitters: Samin Nosrat's Salt Fat Acid Heat and Melissa Clark's Dinner: Changing the Game. Cookbook lovers everywhere were pained knowing only one of these beloved cookbooks could make it through to the next round.
The reviewer positioned the books in the question of "to recipe or not to recipe," which is largely how I've thought of them. Dinner is clearly a recipe book whereas Salt Fat Acid Heat is more cooking school/how to manual. The ultimate judgement favored Salt Fat Acid Heat, a fair outcome. But as a recipe lover Dinner still holds my heart, in large part because of the gorgeous and delicious cover recipe: Harissa Chicken with Leeks, Potatoes and Yogurt.
Around the time I was first cooking from Dinner I caught an episode of the Eater Upsell (back in the glory days when the host was Helen Rosner—miss you Helen!). Melissa Clark was the guest, and long story short she recommended to listeners to make the Harissa Chicken recipe first (which also happens to be the cover recipe), and boy am I happy I took her advice . . .
During the interview Melissa talks about her "trigger ingredients", which immediately struck a chord with me. I already knew that the reason I love Melissa and her recipes is because I love the ingredients she uses: anchovies, capers, fish sauce, tamarind, all the yummy things. The Harissa Chicken recipe hits many my triggers: harissa, yogurt, and leeks.
The dish comes together easy, with just a touch of patience. I checked the chicken around the 20 minute market to see a tray full of steaming chicken and veg, so I turned on the convection fan, and voila, a few minutes later crispy chicken. The vegetables seemed like they could have used more time so I might consider adding them a few minutes before throwing on the chicken in the next go round, in particular the leeks, which were just a few shades from raw.
I found myself without lemon but always have some sort of citrus around so I used lime, which did the trick marvelously—so much so I might just make that the go to next time.
The finished sheet pan was glorious, I threw on the yogurt sauces, tucked in some fresh green herbs and served it up. Two happy people with full bellies a short time later.
This dish is a new favorite. I see why this one should be the first you make, because if you didn't already know you loved Melissa Clark, you will after cooking this dish.