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Harissa Chicken Stew

These chilly autumn nights are perfect for warming comfort foods, and what’s more comforting than a big bowl of hearty soup?

Every year I grieve the end of summer. But autumn comes so swiftly, I’m quickly reminded of how wonderful this season is. Everything feels so cozy and slow, an invitation to be introspective and quiet. To put things into perspective. And the year is coming to an end! It’s astonishing to me how the days are so slow but the years are so fast.

Harissa Chicken Stew

Anyways, this Harissa Chicken Stew is phenomenal. The harissa paste, a North African spicy red sauce, adds smokines, heat, and extra depth of flavor to the dish. Stews are extremely flexible so you can add anything you want. I like to add a lot of carbs and protein to mine, and for this one I used Japanese squash, but you can swap out for butternut squash or sweet potatoes. Eggplants are a great option, too. And of course, you can just leave out the chicken and keep it vegetarian.

Make sure the pan is very hot before adding the chicken, and when you place them in the pan, don’t flip for at least 2 minutes. This process creates an intense layer of flavor where the proteins caramelize, and it’s crucial for the development of flavor and texture.

This is such a great dish for the colder months ahead, it doesn’t take hours to cook as most stews, and it’s incredibly flavorful. I’ve been making it so much lately, I couldn’t recommend it more.

If you make this Harissa Chicken Stew please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I’d love to hear from you and I love responding to each and every comment. And if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to also tag me on Instagram! I’d love to see your photos.

Harissa Chicken Stew

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 0.8 lb chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small Japanese squash, cut into chunks
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp harissa paste
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups chicken stock or water
  • salt and black pepper
  • fresh cilantro, to serve
  • creme fraiche or Greek yogurt, to serve


  1. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium. Add the chicken and brown on both sides; 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  3. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and cook for about 2 minutes, until soft and fragrant. Add the squash and spices and cook for a minute more. Stir in the harissa paste, then pour over the canned tomatoes and stock. Season well.
  4. Return the chicken to the pan and simmer gently, covered, for about 40 minutes. Add the chickpeas after 20 minutes.
  5. Uncover and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until the meat is falling apart.
  6. Garnish with cilantro and serve with dollops of creme fraiche.

Tips & Tricks: You can replace the Japanese pumpkin with butternut squash or sweet potato.


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