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Harissa Buttermilk Brined Fried Chicken

Halal Home Cooking: Harissa Buttermilk Brined Fried Chicken Recipe
Succulent and mildly spicy fried chicken.
Firstly the chicken is put in a overnight bath of Harissa spiced buttermilk brine and refrigerated over night to take on flavour also the brine tenderises the chicken making it juicy and irresistible.
It's then given a shake off of excess brine before being dipped in seasoned flour, eggy buttermilk brine and lastly panko breadcrumbs and left to dry out for 20 minutes or so before being deep fried until beautifully dark and golden.
                                      Halal Home Cooking: Harissa Buttermilk Brined Fried Chicken Recipe
Harissa, is popular across the whole of north Africa and is usually in the form of a paste the same consistency as tomato puree and usually contains at least these 4 ingredients; chilli, garlic, caraway and coriander. On this occasion and after seeing Sylvia check out another of Bart's spice blend - piri piri I knew I had to try the brand so got a tin of their Harissa blend
This particular spice blend contains mint?  not sure how authentic that addition is but like most of North African cuisine each country, region, neighbourhood has it's own way of doing the same recipe making it, different?!. Basically the point I'm trying to get to is if you make this recipe with paste or said spice blend it will be A-OK, In shaa Allah (God willing) 

I used 3 large chicken drumsticks for this recipe which came to just under a pound(450 grams), feel free to double or triple the recipe if your feeding a crowd!

If that wasn't enough spice for you, like me serve with some mayo spiked with harissa paste!

Note: After getting some feedback from a dear sister who tried my recipe I would advise if you like hot spicy chicken use at least double the amount of harissa stated in the recipe below.

Harissa Buttermilk Brined Fried Chicken

Level: Easy (when you know how!)
Cooking Time: 6-12 minutes (depends on size of chicken pieces, whether they are on the bone and the temp of the oil!)
Special equipment: Sugar / Oil Thermometer or a deep fat fryer with a thermostat
Serves: 1-2
Measurement: 1 UK Cup = 250ml



250 ml / 1 cup buttermilk
2 teaspoons Bart's Harissa spice blend or 1/2 heaped tablespoon Harissa paste
1/2 teaspoon salt 

400 grams / 3 large chicken drumsticks, skin and bone intact


1/2 C plain or strong bread flour seasoned with salt and pepper
1 egg and some of the brine mixture from above, whisked together with a folk
1 C panko bread crumbs mixed with 1 teaspoon Bart's Harissa spice blend( OR salt,pepper,chilli/hot paprika)

Oil for deep frying (i used sunflower)


  1. Place brine ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix together with a fork, add chicken, cover bowl and marinate overnight or at least 8 hours.
  2. In 3 deep sided plates, put seasoned flour in plate 1, egg and buttermilk brine in 2 and panko/harissa mix in 3. Shake of excess brine by tapping chicken piece on side of bowl then coat in flour, eggy buttermilk brine mixture and lastly panko/harissa breadcrumb mixture. Place coated chicken pieces on a plate and leave to dry 20 minutes.
  3. Heat oil in a deep sided pan to anywhere between 180-200C (360-390F) and try your best to maintain this temperature throughout the cooking process, carefully place the chicken pieces into the oil and deep fry until deeply golden in colour and the juices run clear when the chicken is pierced with a fork anywhere from 6-10 minutes.
  4. Serve along with some mayonnaise with  harissa swirled through it for an extra kick of spice.
I'm slowly figuring out how to use my new camera so I hope you will forgive the harsh shadows etc, i'm an official foodgawker reject list member, ha!

Here are some phone camera pics to tickle your taste buds.
Halal Home Cooking: Harissa Buttermilk Brined Fried Chicken Recipe
If you can't find Bart's spice blend or the more popular Harissa paste have a go at making the paste yourself, look here 

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At 4 September 2014 at 16:49 , Blogger Heni El G said...

Salaamu aleikoum, I often use harissa with my fried and roasted chicken, really tasty! I love the look of your chicken, the breading machallah so crispy and crunchy looking! I bet it tasted fab! Cheers!

At 4 September 2014 at 21:20 , Blogger Halal Home Cooking - UmmHamza said...

Wa alaykum as salaam wa rahmatullah sister, it was a first for me using panko breadcrumbs i usually just use regular ones but the panko are way better at staying crisp. Baarak Allahu Feeki

At 5 September 2014 at 18:45 , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We seem to be on a similar wavelength because I made a spicy buttermilk brined chicken twice in two weeks too! I love the idea of using harissa; what a lovely spicy twist!

At 5 September 2014 at 23:51 , Blogger Halal Home Cooking - UmmHamza said...

Me and you dear are always on the same wave length! Baarak Allahu Feeki

At 10 September 2014 at 12:27 , Blogger This Muslim Girl Bakes said...

Oh my days! Mashallah this looks delicious! :)

At 10 September 2014 at 17:10 , Blogger Halal Home Cooking - UmmHamza said...

:) jazak Allahu khair sister, alhamdu'lillah it sure was tasty, try it sometime.

At 11 September 2014 at 19:22 , Blogger Rukaiya xo said...


This looks so scrumptious! I'm getting hungry just looking at the pictures, lol. Love the blog layout, your plating and your photography. Can't wait to try out one of your recipes insha Allah.

Rukaiya | Muslim in the Big City

At 12 September 2014 at 06:42 , Blogger Halal Home Cooking - UmmHamza said...

Wa alaykum as-salaam rukaiya, jazak Allahu khair sister yes do try a recipe and let me have your feedback in shaa Allah


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