Spicy Pepper Chicken

Spicy Pepper Chicken

With 5 ingredients and an hour of your time, this spicy pepper chicken can be on the table quickly and easily!

Spicy Pepper Chicken

Spicy Pepper Chicken

Easy and quick recipes: that is what I love when I’m making dinner on a busy weeknight. This spicy pepper chicken is just that: simple and quick. It requires just 5 ingredients and is on the table in an hour. What more could you want? Bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs are marinated in a combination of store-bought harissa sauce and crushed red pepper flakes. It is seared to a crispy perfection in a hot pan and then finishes cooking in the oven. It is served with the most addicting harissa mayo sauce, and is so versatile, that you can serve it with rice, mashed potatoes, or your pasta of choice. Save this one for a busy weeknight. You will thank me later! … and check-out some of the most frequently asked questions about this dish below!

Spicy Pepper Chicken

What will I need to make this recipe?

8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

12 oz store-bought harissa paste or sauce

2 tsp crushed red pepper

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1/4 cup mayo

What brand of harissa do you recommend?

My go-to harissa sauce is Mina’s Harissa – Spicy Moroccan Red Pepper Sauce. While this is absolutly one of my favorite products, I don’t think it’s super spicy, hence the addition of red pepper flakes to this recipe. If you aren’t keen on spice, leave out the crushed red pepper.

Spicy Pepper Chicken

Thoughts on using boneless and skinless chicken breasts or thighs?

What I love most about this dish is the crispy skin which is why I tend to go with skin-on chicken thighs. Sometimes I take out the bone and leave on the skin. I don’t love eating chicken off the bone. Sometimes I go completely boneless and skinless. I do think that you lose some of the flavor when you remove the skin, but this chicken is still delicious any way you make it. Want to leave out the skin, go for it! Keep in mind that when you remove the bone (whether it is breast or thigh) cooking times will vary. To keep the poultry from getting too tough, be sure to check the temperature sooner rather than later.

I don’t have a cast iron pan. What else can I use?

While I do prefer a cast iron pan for a good sear on chicken skin, there are many other ways to make this chicken. You could grill it. You could also just use an oven-safe skillet or pan that is not cast iron. You could also sear the chicken on a non oven-safe pan, and then transfer it to a baking sheet to finish cooking. Just skip the microwave. That is good for no one. :)

Spicy Pepper Chicken

Are you looking for more great chicken recipes on Cooking and Beer? Well, we have a ton of them! Check out some of my favorite chicken recipes!

Spicy Pepper Chicken

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 8 servings


  • 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs patted dry
  • 12 oz store-bought harissa paste or sauce
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • Garnish: chopped parsley, sea salt flakes


  • In a large bowl, combine the chicken, harissa (reserve 3tbsp), and crushed red pepper. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge to marinate for 20 minutes.
  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.
  • Preheat a large cast iron pan (or two smaller pans — oven-safe) over medium-high heat. Add the vegetable oil. Once hot, add the chicken, skin side down, working in batches as needed. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side or until blackened and seared. Immediately transfer the pan(s) to the oven and continue to cook the chicken for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove from the oven and let stand for a few minutes before serving.
  • To prepare the spicy sauce, simply combine the reserved harissa and mayo. Serve with the chicken. Garnish with parsley and sea salt flakes and enjoy!

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Spicy Pepper Chicken