African Chicken Stew — African Chicken Stew- A stew like no other. Easy, Aromatic and Flavorful . Great weeknight meal. Paired with Savory Coconut Rice!
Stews have always been part of the cuisine in Africa specifically in West African countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and my home country Cameroon. Also popular in some East African Countries like Kenya. There are all kinds of stews – beef, oxtail, and fish and of course these deeply flavored chicken stew. I have encountered many variations of stews through the years and love them all.
A traditional African stew starts with the browning of chicken which gives the stew extra flavor. You may choose to omit this part to cut down on the use of oil
This chicken stew starts by slowly simmering tomatoes and onions. You can use canned tomatoes, fresh or puree tomatoes. I like to use roma tomatoes when I can. They are less acidic and reduce the cooking time but I often use canned tomato sauce. In my opinion, a good African stew is one that has a noticeable tomato presence without the sharp taste. A few added spices like curry, thyme, paprika and onions helps in this process. Making for an intensely flavorful sauce.
While some stews may take a long time to cook, the actual preparation is simple and straight forward and the results tremendous. Stews were once considered a MUST have for Christmas tables in Cameroon. – A festive meal. Each home, cooking up their own variation, for friends and family to savor. It pairs well with white rice or any starchy side (plantains, yams,)
¼-1/2 cup oil
3- 3 1/2 pound chicken cut in pieces
5-6 Roma tomatoes or 2 cups tomato puree
1 medium onion sliced
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 Tablespoon paprika
¼ teaspoon curry powder
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon maggi or bouillon granules
2 cups water
2 green onion chopped whites and green parts
3 tablespoon parsley
1- 2 cups of sliced carrots
Salt and pepper to taste
1.Season chicken with, salt and pepper. Set aside
2.In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat, until hot, and then add the chicken and sauté stirring, frequently, any browned bits off the bottom of the pot, until chicken is brown.
3.If using fresh tomatoes blend tomatoes, onions, garlic, and onions. Pour the tomatos blend in the pot of chicken, bring to a boil and let it simmer until tender (depending on the chicken) about 20- 30 minutes, frequently stirring the saucepan to prevent burns. If using tomato sauce; add the onion, sauté until tender, about 4-5- minutes. Pour tomato sauce, curry powder, smoked paprika, thyme, bay leaf, garlic and bouillon powder. Bring to a boil and let it simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Add about 2 cups of water to the pan.
Add carrots, green onions, parsley. Cook for another 5 minutes. Adjust thickness of soup with water or stock.
4.Season with salt according to preference. Remove bay leaf.
5.Serve over warm rice.