UCLA Luskin Conference Center Quarterly Newsletter — January 2017

Gear up for the big game with a new twist on classic chicken wings!

Danny Khajekian, executive chef of Plateia, the Luskin Conference Center’s on-premise restaurant, shares his unique spin on a Super Bowl party favorite — Harissa-Spiced Chicken Wings. Harissa is a condiment used most often in North African and Middle Eastern cooking. This aromatic chili paste adds the perfect amount of spicy kick to the wings, and goes great with a Cilantro Yogurt Dip. Chef Danny, a graduate of the Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena and previously a sous chef at the Montage Beverly Hills, is into fitness and healthy eating.

Harissa-Spiced Chicken Wings (Serves 4)


  • 2 lbs. chicken wings
  • 3 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4 oz. harissa chili paste
  • 6 tsp. unsalted butter


Whisk all dry ingredients together in a bowl, as well as the lemon juice. Add the chicken wings to the mixture and toss until coated. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Place the chicken wings on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Turn and bake for another 15 minutes or until crispy and cooked through.

In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the harissa and butter. Cook until the butter has melted, stirring frequently.

When the chicken is cooked, transfer to a mixing bowl and add the sauce. Toss until the wings are coated. Serve with Cilantro Yogurt Dip, recipe below.

Cilantro Yogurt Dip


  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped


Stir together all ingredients in a bowl, then cover and let chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes, allowing flavors to blend. Bring to room temperature before serving alongside the harissa-spiced chicken wings.