Slow-cooked North African chicken recipe

(91 ratings)

North African cooking is warm and fragrant with spice and this recipe uses the classic harissa paste to flavour meaty chicken thighs. Get the recipe here:

  • healthy
Preparation Time15 mins plus marinating time
Cooking Time2 hours 15 mins
Total Time2 hours 30 mins
Cost RangeCheap
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories268 Kcal13%
Fat8 g11%
Saturated Fat3 g15%

North African cooking is warm and fragrant with spice, and this recipe uses the classic Harissa paste to flavour the meaty chicken thighs. Made with onions and potatoes, this delicious slow cooker dish is a one-pot supper that the whole family will love. You can add more chilli if you prefer your food extra-spicy.

Read our tried and tested reviews of the best slow cookers.


  • 4-6tsp harissa paste
  • 8 chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat and excess skin
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
  • 2 sweet potatoes or 4 medium potatoes, or a mixture of the two, peeled and cut into big chunks
  • 2 pickled lemons, rinsed and sliced (scoop out the flesh and slice skin)
  • 600ml hot chicken stock
  • 150ml tub Greek yogurt
  • A good handful of roughly chopped coriander
  • Couscous, pitta bread or red rice, to serve




  1. If you have time, rub half the harissa paste into the chicken thighs and marinate them for 1-4 hours or overnight.
  2. Preheat a slow-cook pot or set the oven to 160°C/320°F/Gas Mark 3.
  3. Warm the oil in a large frying pan, add the chicken and fry on each side until browned. Set aside. Pour off almost all the fat in the pan, then add the onion and garlic to the pan.
  4. Add the rest of the harissa paste and cook for 1 minute. Add the potato chunks, pickled lemon and stock. Bring to the boil. Pour into the pot, then put the chicken thighs in and cook for 3½ hours on High or longer on the Auto or Low setting. Or cook in a casserole in the oven for 2 hours, or on the hob, on the slowest simmer, for 1½–2 hours.
  5. Season, then serve topped with a dollop of yogurt and sprinkle of coriander. Serve with couscous, pitta bread or red rice.
Top Tip for making Slow-cooked North African chicken

Like a thicker sauce? Just add thickening granules. You can use orange or lemon zest rather than pickled lemon, if you prefer.

Food & Recipes writer

Sue McMahon is a former Food and Recipes Writer at GoodTo and Cooking Editor at Woman's Weekly. Her primary passion is cakes and Sue regularly travels the world teaching cake decorating. Her biggest achievement to date was winning the Prix d’honneur at La Salon Culinaire International de Londres beating over 1,200 other entries.