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Spotlight Montréal: Meat Market (Chicken Sandwich with Harissa Mayo)

Spotlight Montréal: Meat Market


I had just returned from Québec City and was on the hunt for a seat outside, a glass of wine and a wifi connection. It had been several days with no internet and I was having withdrawals (and I had a TON of photos I needed to go through).

The Meat Market fit the bill with a decent wine selection and a perfect table for me on the sidewalk. The sweet potato fries I spied on another diners table didn’t hurt either.

I decided on the “East Meats West” sandwich as it was a flavor combination I’d never considered: Grilled chicken marinated in cinnamon & orange with harissa mayonnaise. I was so impressed with the combination it sent me on a 2 day hunt for harissa in Dallas. I finally found it at World Foods but Central Market now has it back in stock.

Harissa is a North African hot red sauce or paste. Main ingredients are chili peppers (often smoked or dried), garlic, coriander, caraway, or cumin, and usually olive oil.

The heat in harissa is not a painful heat…. it’s quite addictive. When I recreated this recipe I had a few friends over for a chilly evening on the patio. On the first bite my good friend Rhonda said “At first I thought oooh it’s spicy… and I want more”. It’s good stuff.


  • 2 chicken breasts
  • ciabatta bread or rolls
  • 1/4 head red cabbage – cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • salt & pepper

For the marinade:

  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • Juice of 1/2 orange
  • Zest of one orange
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil

For the harissa mayo:

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1-2 tsp. harissa paste
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice


In a large plastic bag combine marinade ingredients (cinnamon, coriander. orange juice, orange zest, garlic & olive oil). Add chicken and marinade in the refrigerator for 4 hours or overnight. When ready to grill, remove from marinade and salt & pepper chicken. Grill or bake until cooked through and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice into pieces for sandwich.

In a medium skillet add cabbage and vinegar and cook on medium until cabbage is wilted but still has a small bite to it. Salt & pepper to taste.

For mayo: combine mayo, harissa and lemon juice. Set aside until ready to assemble sandwich.

To assemble sandwich spread mayo on both sides. Add a layer of cabbage on the bottom and top with the chicken breasts.

Serves 4

2 thoughts to “Spotlight Montréal: Meat Market (Chicken Sandwich with Harissa Mayo)”

  1. I probably have one chicken breast recipe in my repertoire mostly because I don't really like chicken breast.

    But this combo of marinading the chicken plus mayo plus a spicy sauce/paste that I am totally unfamiliar with, I will always be a sucker for.

    Do you know how harissa tastes compare to peri-peri (Southern Africa)?

  2. Joe – No chicken… make it with beef but I would omit the cinnamon. If you have piri-piri use it in exchange for the harissa but I'd start out light and taste it for heat.

    Harissa spices include chilis, coriander, caraway, cumin. Piri-Piri is chilies, lemon, garlic and parsley. So a different taste but you would still get the HEAT.

    In my harissa research I found it can vary in heat and ingredients depending on where it is made (mine is made in France). Piri-Piri is the same depending on where it is made.

    You could always make your own… but it's only $1.50 a can… so why bother soaking chilies!

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