We cook a lot at home obviously, and I love a beautifully stocked kitchen. I am the sort of person that could get lost in the home-ware black hole of department stores, for hours. Our drawers are full of useful (and some not so useful) kitchen gadgets, and there is hardly any room on our kitchen counter for all the toys that we have purchased over the years. Hello, my name is Jenny, and I am a kitchenware addict.
Pots and pans are something that I can be obsessive about without guilt, however! More and more I am hearing of the dangers of using old non-stick cookware that has been heated one to many times, and perhaps some of that non-stick layer has chipped off because I used a metal spatula in a rush one day. So I have been slowly replacing all those cheap pans that I used to buy with good quality Le Creuset cookware. I’m increasingly loving cast iron because it heats evenly, and it’s easy to transfer from stovetop to oven. Ok and fine, yes, IT’S SO PRETTY!
I bought a 32cm rectangular grill the other day in Caribbean Blue, and I am in love! Since then I have been searching for griddle pan recipes to try out, and I was inspired by a recipe in Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Good. The recipe calls for harissa, and I had a untouched jar of homemade harissa that I bought at a market when I was in South Africa earlier this year. If I may so myself, this is one of the best recipes I have made recently, you must try it! It’s simple and requires few ingredients (read – easy and inexpensive to make).
If you don’t have a cast-iron griddle pan, Le Creuset HK is doing a promotion for them (and other cast iron goodies) for the month of August.
Griddle Pan Harissa Chicken
1 x 1.5kg whole chicken, spatchcocked
2-4 tbsp harissa (depending on how hot you like it!)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp salt, and freshly ground pepper
❤️ Spatchcock the chicken. If you’ve never done it before (I hadn’t), watch this video for instructions. It’s easy and all you need are some good kitchen scissors. Slash the thighs and drumsticks, the marinade will penetrate, and the thigh will cook at the same time as the breast. Lay it in a flat-bottomed dish.
❤️ Mix the harissa, salt, and olive oil. Use your fingers to loosen the skin from the breast and thigh areas, being careful not to break the skin. Rub half of the harissa mixture under the skin, and the rest all over both sides of the chicken. Leave it in the fridge for 2-3 hours or overnight if possible.
❤️ Preheat the oven to 220°C. Heat the griddle pan at medium/high heat until it is hot. Then brush the pan with oil and place the chicken skin side down. Leave it for 4-5 minutes to achieve that nice crispy skin.
❤️ When finished, take the pan off the heat to cool for a few minutes – THEN turn the chicken. It’s imperative to wait for the pan to cool for this dish, I learned the hard way. Turning the chicken while the pan is still crazy hot will result in harissa chili fumes EVERYWHERE! Your living room, bedroom, eyes, nose and throat…. not fun.
❤️ If the chicken has already gotten the right amount of char from the pan frying stage, cover the pan loosely with foil so the chicken skin doesn’t burn.Place the chicken on the middle rack in oven and cook for 30 minutes.
A few tips when cooking with the cast iron griddle pan:
- Try not to drag it over the metal stove or stack it with other pans – you want that pretty enamel colour to stay shiny and non-scratched so you can serve it on the table to your guests with pride.
- Heat the pan thoroughly before cooking anything on it, this will help you achieve those nice charred grill lines. To test if the pan is hot enough, sprinkle some water on it. If it evaporates almost immediately, you are good to go.
- I know this sounds like a stupid tip, but always remember to pick up these pans with a tea towel or oven gloves. I have forgotten on numerous occasions, with burn marks to prove it!
- To get rid of those sticky burned bits when cleaning, soak the pan in soapy warm water then clean with a brush. Try not to use abrasive pads when cleaning it. If there are marks that will just not go away, Le Creuset sell a special cleaner to get rid of stubborn marks.
❤️❤️❤️ Enjoy!! ❤️❤️❤️