Harissa Chicken Wings

Harissa Chicken Wings

There’s a big game in these here parts tomorrow. We’re talkin’ “don’t make any plans because you have to be home, in your specific lucky seat to watch it because it absolutely 1000% percent will effect the outcome of the game and we HAVE to win this game” big. And with big games, come big game eats, my favorite part. Dips. Love ’em. Dogs. Must have. Wings. GIMME ALL OF THEM.

It has been a little while since I shared a chicken wing recipe. To be honest, I’ve had a hard time coming up with a different version since I have already shared so many. You know like the salt and pepper wings, sriracha wings, sweet thai chili wings, cajun wings and the spicy honey mustard wings just to name a few.

But alas, I’ve come up with a flavor that I haven’t used before: Harissa. Ever heard of it? I hope so. If not, you’ve been missing out. It’s ok though because I’m here to right that wrong with these Harissa Chicken Wings.

If you have never heard of harissa it is a Northwest African Chili Paste. I first used it a few years ago with some lamb and it was SO good (Note to self: Make again ASAP and share with your friends on the blog). You can find it in well stocked grocery stores and specialty markets. I found mine at Whole Foods. Or if you’ve got the time you can make your own by following this recipe from Saveur.

Whatever you do though please get your little mits on it. Just like any other hot sauce, you can add it to all kinds of dishes to spice things up. It’s great on burgers, falafel, stir fries and of course wings.  For these wings, I used it like a traditional wing sauce. Read: butter.

Glorious butter.

But unlike traditional wings, these are baked not fried so it all evens out.

That’s my story anyway and yes, I’m sticking to it.

Harissa is spicy, it is after all a chili paste, so these aren’t for the faint of heart. However, the creamy cilantro yogurt dip does cool things off nicely.

Harissa Chicken Wings

Harissa Chicken Wings

Print Recipe
Serves 2 - 4 Prep Time: Cook Time:

Harissa Chicken Wing Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 pounds party wings
  • 1/2 cup harissa chili paste
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter

Cilantro Yogurt Dip Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro



Whisk together lemon juice, garlic powder, cumin, paprika, salt and cinnamon. Add in wings and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.


Make the yogurt sauce by whisking all ingredients together. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.


Place chicken wings on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Turn and bake for another 15 minutes or until crispy and cooked through.


In a saucepan over medium heat combine harissa and butter. Cook until butter has melted.


Place cooked wings in a large mixing bowl. Pour harissa sauce over the top and toss to coat. {Note: works best if you use a mixing bowl with a lid because then you can shake them to coat them. } Serve with cilantro yogurt sauce.



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