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"Our Time Has Come" spicy harissa chicken wings

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For a quick, easy, flavorful and crispy wings recipe try these harissa flavored wings. Perfect for game day or entertaining, these spicy chicken wings require simple preparation, yet produce complex taste.

spicy chicken wings in harissa sauce

Great chicken wings in my humble opinion are all about flavor and texture. Come correct on thee two things and you will undoubtedly move the crowd.

Texture should have a super crunchy exterior, but moist, juicy interior. The flavor should pack some heat, but not so much that it overpowers everything else. There is nothing most than biting into a fiery wing, only to have your taste buds fried leaving nothing to actually taste the remaining wings. The key is balancing the heat with enough vinegar/acidity and sweetness for balance.

Secret Ingredient For Crispy Chicken Wings

I won't name names, but I once asked the manager how they produced such crispy chicken. He gave me this long complicated non-answer that was supposed to impress me. I'll spare you guys and declare starch is the key whether it's corn, potato, or tapioca-based. Corn starch is most common and readily available so it's recommended. It's also the cheaper option.

My grandmother kept corn starch around to mostly thicken gravies or stews but should add a lil bit to her fried chicken. I think it was as much for that golden color as it was for the crispiness. For larger pieces of chicken, I use a 1:1 ratio of corn starch to flour. For small pieces like chicken wings, I go 100% corn starch which is common in many Asian fried chicken versions.

Corn starch lacks gluten, so another benefit of using 100% corn starch is this recipe can be gluten-free; this assumes you use fresh frying oil vs. reused oil that contained foods with gluten.

What is harissa?

Harissa's time has come! Harissa sauce provides heat, tangy, and sweet all in one. Harissa paste is the base ingredient and it is combined with lemon juice and honey to provide complexity and balance.

Harissa is a North African chili paste. I'd describe it as an African version of sriracha or chipotle. It's commonly used in Moroccan and Tunisian cooking. For this recipe, I used a commercial version which you can find in many grocery stores as the harissa becomes more popular. I've seen it mentioned a few times already as a food trend to watch out for this year.

How to make your own harissa sauce?

Homemade versions are also easy to create as the base ingredients are red bell peppers, dried chilis (birds eye, Thai), and spices like coriander, cumin, and caraway. The spices help transform the paste into something magical by lending aroma and earthiness. Note if making your own toast the spices before using in the recipe.

What can you use harissa sauce for?

The obvious answer is chicken just as you would with if you were making Piri Piri, gochujang, or buffalo chicken. Harissa also works well with beef, vegetables and seafood.

spicy chicken wings in harissa sauce

Making Harissa chicken wings

If you make these crispy spicy chicken wings, please come back and leave me a comment below with your feedback. Definitely take a photo of the dish and be sure to tag #foodfidelity so that I can see them.

You can also keep up with my food exploits as well as original recipes! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. If you like any of the music you find on the site, visit me at Spotify to find curated monthly playlists.

For another crispy chicken wings recipe try these Frozen Air Fryer Buffalo Wings, Asian-jerk wings or Brazilian fried chicken wings.

spicy chicken wings in harissa sauce

Harissa Chicken Wings

Spicy chicken wings made w/ a sweet & tangy harissa sauce. Wings are brined in buttermilk, fried to crispy perfection and topped with sauce.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: African
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 455kcal
Author: Marwin Brown



  • ¼ cup Harissa paste
  • ½ tablespoon Lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Olive oil
  • ½ tablespoon Honey


  • 1 lb chicken wings
  • 1 ½ cups corn starch
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Garlic powder


  • 2 Cups buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt



  • Add Salt to buttermilk and mix well
  • Place chicken and marinade in a ziplock bag and refrigerate for 4 hours


  • Combine all sauce ingredients in a mixing bowl and let rest.


  • Remove chicken from the refrigerator and let chicken reach room temperature.
  • Season the corn starch in a mixing bowl with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
  • Place starch in a paper bag and add the wings. Shake the bag until wings are well coated.
  • Fry wings in a fryer or cast iron skillet for 5-6 minutes at 375 degrees. Remove wings to a cooling rack and let sit for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add back to the fryer and cook another 2 minutes
  • Toss wings in the sauce and serve,


After coating the chicken in corn starch let them rest for 30 minutes or so. This will help then coating to adhere fully to the wings Adjust the consistency of the sauce to your desired preference


Calories: 455kcal | Carbohydrates: 56g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 60mg | Sodium: 2729mg | Potassium: 329mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 405IU | Vitamin C: 4.6mg | Calcium: 149mg | Iron: 1mg
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