Roast Chicken with Lemony Harissa Glaze

roast chicken lemon harissa glaze
Photo: Johnny Miller
Prep Time:
25 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 15 mins

Doctor our homemade Meyer-lemon and cardamom marmalade with harissa paste for a spicy-sweet glaze that takes roast chicken to extraordinary new heights.


  • 4 scallions, trimmed and coarsely chopped (½ cup)

  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped garlic (from 2 to 3 cloves)

  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest and 1 tablespoon fresh juice (from 1 lemon), plus 1 more lemon, peel and pith removed, cut into ⅛-inch rounds

  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh ginger (from a peeled 2-inch piece)

  • 1 cup packed cilantro

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 whole chicken (3 ½ to 4 pounds)

  • 2 small onions, cut into ¼-inch rounds

  • cup Meyer-Lemon and Cardamom Marmalade or high-quality store-bought lemon marmalade, coarsely chopped


  1. In a food processor, pulse scallions, garlic, lemon zest, ginger, and cilantro until finely chopped. Add oil, harissa, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon salt; process until a paste forms.

  2. Using kitchen shears, remove backbone from chicken. Place, breast-side up, on a cutting board; press down with your hands to flatten. Spread half of paste under and over skin and over cavity side. Arrange onions in a large cast-iron skillet. Place chicken on top, skin-side up. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour, or refrigerate, uncovered, up to 8 hours. (Bring to room temperature before roasting.)

  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange half of lemon rounds on chicken. Roast 25 minutes. Combine remaining paste and marmalade; brush chicken with mixture and top with remaining lemon rounds. Roast until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh (not touching bone) reads 155 degrees, about 20 minutes more. Let stand 10 minutes; serve.

Cook's Notes

Adding lemon rounds in two stages allows for a combination of super-caramelized rounds and fresher bursts of just-cooked juice. If you prefer only caramelized lemons, add them all at the beginning.

The harissa-marmalade mixture is added halfway through cooking to prevent the sugars in the marmalade from burning.

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