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Harissa-Honey Pargiyot (Boneless Chicken Thighs)

Though the actual definition of pargit is “baby chicken” or “Cornish hen,” what we’re actually talking about here are dark-meat boneless chicken thighs. Juicy, marinade-friendly, and pleasingly rich, they’re as popular here as skinless, boneless chicken breasts are in the United States. For this recipe, I ask the butcher to leave the skin on. The harissa-honey glaze helps burnish and crisp the skin, and does its part in creating a pan sauce. To take advantage of the loquat’s very short season, I threw some of those in the pan, but apricots, peaches — even tomato wedges — work beautifully here.

Serves 4
Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

1¼ cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons Honey Harissa or 2 tablespoons store-bought, plus more for brushing chicken
2 tablespoons honey, plus more for drizzling
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1½ teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1½ teaspoons cornstarch
5 to 6 skin-on, boneless chicken thighs (about 1¾ pounds), patted dry
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 small onions (red or white), each cut into 4 wedges through the root*
3 medium loquats or apricots, halved
Thinly sliced scallions (green parts only) or chopped chives, for garnish
Rice, for serving

  1. Arrange a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat the broiler.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the broth, harissa, honey, vinegar, salt, and cornstarch. Season the chicken thighs generously with salt and pepper.

  3. Heat the olive oil in a large (at least 10-inch) oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the skillet, skin-side down, and cook without moving until the skin is browned and crisp, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the chicken and cook until the underside is browned, 4 more minutes. Remove to a plate and drain and discard all but 2 tablespoons of the fat from the skillet. Reduce the heat to medium and arrange the onions in the skillet with one of the flat sides touching the surface of the skillet. Cook until the onions are golden on the underside, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the onions and brown the underside an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Add the harissa-honey liquid to the skillet, raise the heat to medium-high, and cook until the mixture thickens, 3 to 4 minutes. Nestle the chicken skin-side up in the pan. Add the fruit and cook the chicken, spooning some of the sauce over the skin, until the fruit begins to soften slightly, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and broil until the skin crisps, the liquid thickens further, and the chicken is cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes for smaller thighs, 6 to 7 minutes for larger ones. Remove the chicken from the oven and garnish with scallions. Divide among plates and spoon the sauce over the top. Serve with rice.

*Leaving the root end of an onion intact ensures that when you cut the onion into wedges, they have a better chance of holding their shape.

From “Sababa: Fresh, Sunny Flavors From my Israeli Kitchen,” by Adeena Sussman, published by AVERY, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2019

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