Skip to main content

Grilled Harissa Sesame Beer Chicken with Lemon Cilantro Tahini

Grilled Harissa Sesame Beer Chicken with Lemon Cilantro Tahini

Remember when I had you buy tahini to make this Beer Chicken Shwarma with Tahini Aoili? Well, that jar of tahini is about to get another workout. I COULD sit here and tell you it’s because I think you already have some and I don’t want you to have to go to the store for ingredients, but you would see right through that. Really, it’s because I didn’t want to go to the store for new ingredients so I’m just using what I have. Like that Harissa I bought for this

If nothing else positive comes out of this pandemic, I hope the fact that we are becoming far creative with our cooking is something that sticks. Bright side, right? Yes, we’ve gotta bright side as much as we can. 

Another bright side is the grill. I can grill all the things again!! Which is hard to do in the midst of Seattle rain, but these quarantine days have been glorious, necessitating grilling all the things. My entire plan for the upcoming weekend has to do with what I can grill that I haven’t already grilled. It’s very exciting. 

Beer is a big part of the weekends these days, please try to hide your shock at this revelation. I had a Medusa DIPA from Anchorage brewing a few days ago and loved it. I am usually shy about the higher ABV beers (I’m a total lightweight, don’t tell) but it was fantastic. If I have some sun, a grill, and a good beer, the weekend will be still be something I’ll look forward too, even in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. 

Grilled Harissa Sesame Beer Chicken with Lemon Cilantro Tahini

Servings 4 servings


For the chicken:

  • ¼ cup (7g) chopped green onions
  • 4 cloves garlic grated with a microplane
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ginger grated with a microplane
  • 2 tablespoon (32g) harissa paste *
  • 3 tablespoon (48g) soy sauce low sodium
  • 2 tablespoon (25g) brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon (14g) honey
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) sesame oil
  • ½ cup (115g) pale ale
  • 8 chicken thighs skinless and boneless
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds toasted

For the sauce:

  • 1 cup (224g) tahini (stir the jar well beforehand)
  • ¼ cup (58g) fresh lemon juiced
  • 2 tablespoons (27g) beer (or water)
  • ¼ cup (58g) water (plus additional as needed)
  • 2 tablespoons (27g) olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves rough chopped
  • ¾ cup (18g) chopped fresh cilantro
  • ¼ cup (7g) chopped green onions
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sumac** optional
  • 1 ½ teaspoons (9g) kosher salt


  • In a large bowl stir together the green onions, garlic, ginger, harissa paste, soy sauce, brown sugar, honey, sesame oil, and beer.
  • Sprinkle the chicken on all sides with salt. Add the chicken to the marinade, cover, and refrigerate for at least two hours and up to 24.
  • In a blender, add the ingredients for the sauce, blend on high until well combined. Add additional beer or water to thin to desired consistency.
  • Preheat the grill to medium-high.
  • Add the chicken to the grill, brushing with marinade after turning, grilling until cooked through (do not brush with marinade after removing from grill, the heat of the grill will kill harmful bacteria from the raw chicken juices that are still in the marinade but brushing after removing from the grill won’t).
  • Sprinkle with sesame seeds after removing from the grill.
  • Drizzle with sauce prior to serving.


* Harissa is a North African hot chili pepper paste, usually found near the Moroccan food in the grocery store. You can also make it yourself, link below.
**I love sumac, but if you don’t have it on hand don’t feel the need to run out and find it. This sauce is great even without it.

DIY Stout Harissa 


Related Posts

Similar Articles

No Comments

Write a Comment

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

Recipe Rating


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.