Harissa Chicken with Herbed Quinoa

 I love a challenge in the kitchen.

Give me an almost empty fridge and a handful of things in the cupboard and challenge me to cook a meal – I’ll heartily accept. I love the feeling of making something wonderful from seemingly nothing, because unless there literally is nothing in your fridge, with a little imagination you can cook up a great meal from whats in the fridge and feel damn proud doing it.

As a child I would bury my face in the fridge looking for something to eat then yell to mum upstairs in the loudest voice (and rather dramatically) that there was nothing to eat in the fridge. Now, bear in mind this was an Italian family fridge, so it was always bursting with great food. It would frustrate her to no end and she would come down the stairs just before dinner time, open the fridge and in 30 minutes lay out a multi course meal of the tastiest food you could imagine. She seemed like a food wizard, and I was always in awe.

Now, this skill didn’t always come naturally and when I moved to Sydney from Perth away from my family, I would still stare into my fridge and wonder what the hell I was going to have for dinner. But a few years of experimentation later and trusting my instincts with regard to flavour matching, and I finally feel I might actually equal my mother in a kitchen fridge challenge – perhaps I should challenge her to a cook off next time I’m in Perth… she’ll probably win.

Recently I was sent a care package of goodies from Lilydale Free Range Chicken which included chicken (of course) some goodies from Salts Meats Cheese and lovely fresh produce. It came with a challenge to create a tasty weeknight meal – challenge accepted and my turn to try and become a food wizard like my mother.

Here is my weeknight chicken dish with elements from the care package and a few things I had in the fridge – Harissa Chicken with Herbed Quinoa.

Chew Town would like to thank Lilydale Free Range Chicken for providing the care package of Lilydale and Salt Meats Cheese products for the development of this recipe.


  1. says

    I am exactly the same way! I was just saying to my husband yesterday that I would much rather get creative in the kitchen with some imposed restraints (limited pantry, specific set of ingredients, etc.) than be able to create anything I want. Probably why I like to watch all of the culinary challenge shows!
    Recent Post: Quick Beef Pho (Paleo)My Profile

  2. says

    It’s always fun to make up dishes from what’s on hand, isn’t it? I love doing that! Great looking chicken (anything with harissa is wonderful, IMO), but it’s the quinoa that’s the real star of this meal, IMO. Really great flavors in that dish. Good post — thanks.
    Recent Post: New Orleans Barbecue ShrimpMy Profile

  3. says

    It seems the Polish and Italians have much in common when it comes to having a full fridge that to kids seems “empty”. I shake my head when the kids say that too! As for the challenge, I think you’ve done really well. I am yet to cook with Harissa, loving the paste in dips, mayo and added to olives and haloumi.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge