Tender and juicy whole spatchcocked chicken smothered in a sweet, spicy, and crazy flavorful sauce made from harissa paste and apricot jam baked to perfection with onions, potatoes, and acorn squash. Enjoy this Baked Harissa Chicken as an easy weeknight meal or with friends for a special weekend gathering.
1largeacorn squash, halved, seeds removed, and cut into wedges
2mediumred onions, peeled and quartered
2lemons, thinly sliced
pomegranate seeds, for serving
fresh chopped parsley, to garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Prepare the chicken. Remove the chicken backbone by placing the chicken breast-side-down on a clean work surface. Using kitchen shears, cut along one side of the backbone, starting at the thigh end. Rotate the chicken 180 degrees and cut along the other side, removing the entire backbone (discard or save for stock). Flip the chicken over, open, and press firmly on the breastbone to flatten (or you can ask your local butcher to do it for you).
Prepare the sauce. In a small bowl whisk together the harissa paste, apricot jam, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
Prepare the vegetables. Chop and transfer the vegetables to a large roasting pan. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the butterflied chicken directly on top of the vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Rub with half of the harissa apricot jam mixture (approximately 4 tablespoons). Set aside the remaining sauce for later use (take care not to cross contaminate with the raw chicken). Place the lemon slices on top and around the chicken.
Tent the roasting pan with foil and bake for 15 minutes before removing foil and baking for an additional 25-35 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees with a digital thermometer and the juices run clear.
Remove the chicken and vegetables from the oven and brush with remaining harissa apricot mixture. Allow chicken to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Serve garnished with pomegranate arils and fresh chopped parsley, if desired. Enjoy.