tomato chicken with honey and harissa

Lindsey Bareham

In this end of summer treat, strips of lemon and garlic-marinated chicken are seared in olive oil then gently stewed in a thick, smooth tomato sauce. Moroccan flavourings of spicy harissa mellowed by honey, take an Italian turn with a basil garnish. I served it over the last of yellow French beans from the garden but new potatoes would be a good alternative or addition.

serves 2, prep 20 min, cook 35 min

4-6 chicken thigh fillets
2 garlic cloves
4 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon
8 vine tomatoes
1 tsp harissa
1 tbsp honey
handful of basil leaves

Open out the fillets and slice down into 4 or 5 chunky strips. Chop then crush the garlic with a pinch of salt to make a juicy paste. Smear the garlic over the chicken in a bowl. Add 1 tbsp olive oil and juice from half the lemon over the top. Mix and leave while you make the tomato sauce. Coarsely chop the tomatoes. Place in a pan with 2 tbsp olive oil and a pinch salt. Simmer briskly over a medium-low heat, reduce to low, cover and cook for 15 min until soft. Force through a sieve (liquidize first speeds things up) into a pan. Simmer for 5 min, add harissa and honey and simmer until thick and creamy.

Heat remaining oil in a spacious, lidded frying pan over medium-high heat. Tip in the chicken and quickly sear the pieces. Season lightly with salt and add the tomato sauce. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 15 min. Remove the lid, check for doneness. Season to taste with salt and lemon and serve garnished with shredded basil.