Coconut Harissa Curry Braised Chicken

This coconut harissa curry braised chicken has the most amazing flavor trifecta! The perfect paleo dinner option to keep on your menu! Best of all? It's one-pot!

This coconut harissa curry braised chicken has the most amazing flavor trifecta! The perfect paleo dinner option to keep on your menu! Best of all? It's one-pot!

We went and saw the new Disney Pixar movie, Inside Out, this weekend and we absolutely loved it. It was adorable and hilarious. There were many times throughout the movie, I’d look over at Jason and he’d be laughing so hard. They really hit the nail on the head with this movie. It appealed to both children and adults and that’s really rare! The “feelings” in the movie were spot on too. I now can’t stop thinking about how if my brain functions that way :) and of course, Pixar just had to do it. They made me cry like a baby in the film. There is always that one moment in their movies that gets to me. All in all, definitely a great movie to go see!

I also went and got my headshots re-taken by a very talented photographer, whom I’m lucky to call my friend, Anna Grace. My other good friend who just so happens to live down the street from me (literally a 30 second drive) let us borrow her ridiculously amazing all-white kitchen with a HUGE marble island. Oh my god. You guys have to look at this kitchen. Dream kitchen, right? Here’s a sneak peek of the photos Anna Grace got from our shoot. I’m on the edge of my seat. I cannot WAIT to see all of them. I think the hardest part will be to decide which ones I want to use! I honestly will probably do a blog post on them because why not? Maybe you can help me choose ;)

This coconut harissa curry braised chicken has the most amazing flavor trifecta! The perfect paleo dinner option to keep on your menu! Best of all? It's one-pot!

This coconut harissa curry braised chicken was dreamed up during my paleo challenge. And I think it was one of the best recipes I came up with while on the paleo challenge. I loved all the flavors and it worked SO well together. I was hesitant to combine harissa, curry, and coconut milk together but oh my gosh, it could not have worked out better. You will absolutely love this and best of all, it’s made in ONE-POT!! Holla!

This coconut harissa curry braised chicken has the most amazing flavor trifecta! The perfect paleo dinner option to keep on your menu! Best of all? It's one-pot!


This coconut harissa curry braised chicken has the most amazing flavor trifecta! The perfect paleo dinner option to keep on your menu! Best of all? It's one-pot!
Coconut Harissa Curry Braised Chicken
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
45 mins

This coconut harissa curry braised chicken has the most amazing flavor trifecta! Best of all? It's one-pot!

Servings: 2 -3
  • 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups diced yellow onions
  • 1 1/4 cup diced butternut squash
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 2/3 cup mild harissa, this is the one I used
  • 1/2 teaspoon curry powder, this is my favorite - way more potent than what you typically get at the grocery store
  • 1 can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 cups kale leaves
  1. In a large heavy-bottom pot (such as a Dutch-oven), drizzle olive oil to the bottom of the pot and put it over high heat.
  2. Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper on both sides and add to the hot oil, skin-side down. You'll want to just brown the outside of the chicken, about 2 minutes each side. Remove from pan and place on a plate and set aside.
  3. Turn heat down to medium-high and add garlic and onions. Cook until fragrant and translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
  4. Next, add the butternut squash and carrots. Cook until halfway cooked through, about 7-8 minutes. Add the harissa, curry powder, coconut milk, and more salt and pepper (to taste). Stir to incorporate. Add the chicken back in, bring mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook until chicken has fully cooked through, about 15 minutes, or longer depending on how thick your chicken thighs are.
  5. At the very end, stir in the kale leaves. If your mixture seems too thick, you can thin it out with chicken broth.
Recipe Notes

You can use whatever harissa you like, however, I highly encourage you to use the one I used because that is what the recipe was tested with. I know some harissas are generally a lot spicier and thicker. You can choose the harissa spice-level that you prefer.

There are affiliate links within this post.


Posted on July 13, 2015

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  1. 07/13/2015 at 7:21 am

    YUM Someone get me a fork stat before I dive in headfirst!

  2. 07/13/2015 at 7:34 am

    This chicken sounds amazing! I’m always looking for fun new ways to change up otherwise ordinary food :) And I can’t wait to see all of the pictures!!

  3. 07/13/2015 at 7:51 am

    We SO want to see that movie! I am glad to hear it was as good as it looks!
    On that train of thought, this chicken looks BOMB. Harissa, coconut and curry are my jam, so this is totally dinner! Pinning!
    P.s Great photos!!

  4. 07/13/2015 at 8:31 am

    My kids cannot wait to see that movie! I can’t wait to eat this chicken!!

  5. 07/13/2015 at 8:36 am

    Oh yah, this looks amazing Julie! Mmm!

  6. Kat
    07/13/2015 at 9:02 am

    Looks fab! (The movie and the dish!) Do you think I can use zucchini instead of Butternut Squash? Not a big fan and have tons of Zucchini in my garden. I’m thinking I would add it when I add the chicken back so it doesn’t get too overcooked. Thoughts?

    • Julie
      07/13/2015 at 9:56 am

      Absolutely! Great substitute :)

  7. 07/13/2015 at 9:41 am

    You had me at Harissa! :)

  8. 07/13/2015 at 10:25 am

    OOO can’t wait to see your new pics! And I heart harissa. This sounds sassy, spicy, and oh so tasty!

  9. 07/13/2015 at 10:45 am

    Okay, you’ve convinced me I need to see lithe Disney movie! And this dish/-this dish-yesssss!!!!

  10. 07/13/2015 at 11:17 am

    im convinced that i need to see this movie..and this curry chicken, so much deliciousness in one pot. i will have to give it a try sometime soon.

  11. 07/13/2015 at 11:33 am

    I love savory recipes that use coconut, I made a chicken thai curry this weekend which was delicious, but I must try your, it looks amazing!

  12. 07/13/2015 at 12:13 pm

    Great flavors in this chicken Julie!!!

  13. 07/13/2015 at 12:47 pm

    One pot meals are the best!

  14. 07/13/2015 at 6:32 pm

    I saw that movie this weekend too, so cute!! Looks delish!!

  15. Ford Cornell
    07/13/2015 at 8:12 pm

    My family hates thighs; I love them. Woe is me! Must I use boneless skinless? What about skin on bone in? This looks so delcious! I also liked the butternut squash substitute!! Thanks.

    • Julie
      07/13/2015 at 8:13 pm

      The recipe doesn’t say boneless skinless at says exactly what you want to use: skin on, bone in.

  16. 07/14/2015 at 9:51 am

    THAT KITCHEN OMG. Yeah so I want a whole blog post of Julie headshots. Bring em on!

  17. 07/14/2015 at 2:25 pm

    So glad to hear you enjoyed the movie, it sounds awesome!. Love this one pot meal! It looks so comforting and delicious! The harissa sounds fantastic in here!

  18. 07/14/2015 at 5:21 pm

    I love this recipe! Spicy harissa, cool coconut – I’m sure it’ll be amazing!

  19. 07/14/2015 at 9:57 pm

    I really want to see Inside Out – I’m so glad you liked it, too. And I am so liking what I see in this curry, too.

  20. 07/15/2015 at 12:43 pm

    Can’t beat one-pot meals! This looks delicious. Can’t wait to try it!

  21. Candice
    07/16/2015 at 6:27 pm

    Hi Julie,

    I don’t have thighs. Can I substitute with drumsticks? Also, if I’m making it for 5 people, do I just dbl the recipe?


    • Julie
      07/17/2015 at 7:38 am

      Sure, you can substitute with drumsticks. Yes, you can double the recipe. You may have some leftovers, though.

      • Candice
        11/30/2015 at 3:19 pm

        Hi Julie,

        After having this recipe pinned for 5 months, I finally made it over the weekend. It was a success!!! ^_^ Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe. Everyone LOVED it!

        I did make some modifications by using boneless thighs and doubling the recipe. Also, your original link was for the spicy harissa sauce, which I couldn’t find. I found the mild harissa at Walmart and just added chili peppers to kick it up a notch. However, in reading some of the recent comments, it looks like you were intending to use the mild harissa.

      • Julie
        11/30/2015 at 3:52 pm

        Yay! So glad you enjoyed this! I originally linked the spicy which was wrong on my part. Glad you found the mild and adjusted to your own taste!

  22. 07/20/2015 at 11:05 am

    This looks and sounds completely amazing! Yum!

  23. Erin
    08/01/2015 at 7:46 am

    Hi, all i can find for the harissa is the spice mix. I can’t seem to find a sauce like you used anywhere. How do i incorporate the spice rather then a sauce to make it the same? Thanks

    • Julie
      08/01/2015 at 9:17 am

      Hi, it’s on Amazon. I linked it up in the recipe. Could you order it from there? I really don’t know how you’d incorporate your spicy harissa into this recipe and achieve the same results because spicy harissa is SUPER spicy. I feel like even telling you to use 2 teaspoons of it would yield a dish you cannot eat and the flavor would likely be different.

      • leila
        01/09/2016 at 10:46 pm

        Is it possible to use boneless skinless chicken breasts. Just got a good deal on them

      • Julie
        01/10/2016 at 10:28 am

        Yup, you can. Just keep in mind depending on the thickness of your breasts, you may need to reduce or increase cooking time.

  24. Lindsay
    09/20/2015 at 3:04 pm

    Hi there, I’ve never used harissa before and am wondering about the link you provided. In the recipe, you say to use mild harissa, but the link is actually for spicy harissa (though it appears that brand, Mina, does have mild available). I just don’t want to buy the wrong thing and be overwhelmed with spice! Is the link still correct (spicy Mina brand harissa)?

    • Julie
      09/20/2015 at 4:29 pm

      Hi, thanks for checking! I used the mild one; I must’ve linked it wrong since the red packaging looks the same :) here is the correct one:

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