Coconut Harissa Curry Braised Chicken with Root Vegetables

Coconut Harissa Curry Braised Chicken with Root Vegetables | #paleo #healthy #recipe

Winner winner chicken dinner! <- that’s all I’ve got, don’t hate me.

I’m slowly coming out of catch-up mode after my trip to Illinois for Stephie and Alex’s wedding, and thought I’d pop in to slam dunk you in the face with Zee Best Braised Chicken Eeeeevahs and give you a lil’ bitty trip recap.

Okay, the recap is long. Medium-sized. A bit bigger than itty bitty. Here we go:

Last Thursday, I arrived in Peoria just in time for Stephie’s bachelorette party, which was super mellow and fun. Stephie’s friends and I instantly bonded as we munched on tapas at Noir and sipped on wine. It was so nice getting to know the ladies in a relaxing environment void of banana hammocks and inappropriately-shaped straws.

The next day (Friday), Stephie, her friend Erin and I busted out a workout before setting up the venue, which was to be held in this kick ass barn in North Pekin. Friday evening was the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner at this bangarang steak house called Alexander’s, where you could flipping grill your own dang steak, just UGH!

Saturday, Stephie, my fellow bridesmaids and I got ready for the big event. There was a bit of downtime before the wedding started, so guess what we did? Yup, wine. You know me too well.

Alex and Stephanie Predmore's Wedding in North Pekin, IL

The ceremony and dinner was in this teal-roofed barn, and cocktail hour was in this rockin’ cool silo. I mean, I’m not a uuuge wedding person (don’t feign surprise), but I’d say this venue was epic.

Alex and Stephanie Predmore's Wedding in North Pekin, ILStephie’s friend, Amy got ordained prior to the wedding and officiated the ceremony. She said beautiful things about love that made me ugly cry. Like, I probably ruined all of the wedding photos of the ceremony with my scrunchy scrunch face, but hey, weddings are for ugly cries, yes? Thanks for understanding, Stephie 😀

Following the ceremony was cocktail hour, followed by DUH-licious BBQ dinner, complete with the best BBQ pulled pork and potato salad I ever did eat. Plus dang good coleslaw and brisket. Just. Whoa. And then all the boozing and dancing occurred. I took to Stephie and Alex’s friends and family like white on rice. They’re just such kind-hearted souls, and they let me follow them around, and dance upon them.

Alex and Stephanie Predmore's Wedding in North Pekin, IL

How flipping gorgeous is that bride?!

It’s a good thing I didn’t choose a career as a travel agent, because I booked my flight out of Peoria at the ass crack of dawn on Sunday. Bygones. I got sneezed upon during all three flights home, but didn’t get sick, yay me! I attribute the strength of my immune system to the good hearty southern barbecue coursing through my veins.

A million congrats to the beautiful couple! If you want to see more photos of the ceremony, check out #StephieandAlex on Instagram.

Coconut Harissa Curry Braised Chicken with Root Vegetables | #paleo #healthy #recipe

Let’s talk braised chicken! As you very well know, I’m an uuuuuuuuge fan of saucy slow-cooked meat. While crock pot meat is always a choice meal, I also like to braise bone-in chicken when in a pinch. The process takes less than an hour and you end up with tender and flavorful meat. I was flipping through the April issue of Cooking Light and my mouth was watering at all the amazing chicken recipes in the issue. Inspired to make an ethnic braised chicken recipe, I figured harissa and coconut milk would be perfect.

Mixing up full-fat coconut milk, harissa paste, and curry powder for a dreamy steamy sauce goes down on the Top 10 Smartest Things I’ve Ever Done. Seriously, the flaaaaaavah! The chicken turns out super moist and the root vegetables soak up that sauce like hooooold the phone! I used store-bought harissa sauce for this recipe, but you can also use homemade. For those of you who are new to harissa, Saffron Road makes a great harissa simmer sauce, and you can find it at Whole Foods.

If you want to be a straight-up genius, you’ll make this Ginger and Turmeric Aromatic Rice to go with the chicken and roots. You’ll want some rice-like carb to soak up all that insane-o tasty sauce.

Coconut Harissa Curry Braised Chicken with Root Vegetables | #paleo #healthy #recipe

Braise thy chicken!

Coconut Harissa Curry Braised Chicken with Root Vegetables | #paleo #healthy #recipe

Coconut Harissa Curry Braised Chicken with Root Vegetables

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Author: Julia


  • 1 14- ounce can full-fat coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup mild harissa paste
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or olive oil
  • 3 pounds bone-in skin-on chicken pieces
  • 1 inch large parsnip peeled and chopped into 2- pieces
  • 1 inch large carrot peeled and chopped into 2- pieces
  • 1 inch small sweet potato peeled and chopped into 2- pieces


  1. Add the coconut milk, harissa paste, curry powder and salt to a blender and blend until smooth. Set aside until ready to use.
  2. Heat the oil over medium-high in a large (10 to 12-inch) cast iron skillet.
  3. Place chicken pieces on the hot skillet skin-side down. Sear 2 to 3 minutes, until skin is golden brown and crispy. Carefully flip and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes - do not cook the chicken through. Place seared chicken on a plate and set aside.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium and add the root vegetables to the hot skillet. Saute, stirring frequently for 3 minutes.
  5. Place the seared chicken pieces back into the skillet with the vegetables. Pour the coconut-harissa sauce over everything and maneuver the chicken and vegetables around so that everything is covered and in a single layer. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cover. Cook for 30 to 35 minutes or until thighs reach 165 degrees F internal temperature and veggies are cooked through.
  6. Serve with your favorite side dish and enjoy!


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  1. Julie

    I’m so glad you were able to come and be a part of the day. And, you’re pretty gorgeous yourself (that’s a good color for you). Thanks for the fun pictures. Miss you and love you. xoxo Oh. Come back and make this chicken for me, ‘k? Thanks. 😉

    1. Julia Post author

      Maaaaaaw thanks for everything! It was so nice being a part of the celebration. Those two lovebirds are such a great couple. And they come from some stellar parents! Give the beags and the Jerry big squeezes for me! xoxo

    1. Julia Post author

      Crazy small world! One of these days, we’ll need to have a proper introduction. Where caramelized banana milkshakes are involved. 😉

  2. Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health

    I’m so happy everything worked out great for Stephie’s big day! I agree, that venue does look epic and I can’t get over how pretty her color scheme is. It looked like a perfect day. And I’m sure your ugly cry face made the pictures even more beautiful. I hope she shares a few on her blog for me to stalk. 😉

    This coconut harissa sauce sounds crazy delicious! I kind of want to take a bath in it.

  3. GiGi Eats

    I need to experiment with full fat coconut milk and curry and chicken….. I have never made curry before – time to pop that CHERRY… Or I guess, can of coconut milk?

  4. Liz @ Floating Kitchen

    Eeeekkk! I love all this photos. Looks so fun. And you ladies look lovely! And harissa plus braised meat = come to mamma! I’m totally going to be a genius and make this WITH the rice. Oh yes I am!!! XOXOXOXO!

  5. Joanne

    Aww such a beautiful day for a beautiful wedding for a BEAUTIFUL bride. I love it all. Including the sauce that’s smothering this chicken. I need that in a big margarita glass. With a straw.

    1. Julia Post author

      It really was a wonderful day! Everything went so smoothly and everyone had a great time. Yuuuuuuuhs the sauce is fantastic! It’d be perfecto to use on a veggie-only dish, too!


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