African Chicken stew is a hearty and flavorful West African dish that is a staple is many African homes and it’s enjoyed by many. Growing up, this was a Christmas delicacy served with boiled white rice. Till date, I still love stew.
What is African Stew:
It’s a popular West African dish made with tomatoes, peppers and onions simmered in oil with spices and herbs. Can be made with chicken, beef, fish and many types of proteins.
My mom is an expert when it comes to making stew. She cooks stew in many ways and guess what, I will be sharing with you many of her secrets, just read along. Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana and many other West African countries have different ways of making stew based on the amount of tomatoes, onions and bell peppers used. In Cameroon, bell peppers are hardly used. But trust me, it’s the best thing that ever happened to my stew.
How do I prevent a Sour or Tangy Stew?
This is one of the highest concerns, SOUR STEW. It’s so frustrating when you spend money to cook a pot of stew and it turns out sour. Here are some of the tips that may help:
- Make sure you select very ripe and red tomatoes.
- Cooking stew requires a lot of oil to fry the blended tomatoes, so as to reduce the acidity. Cook till acidity reduces, then use a spoon to scoop out oil before serving.
- Most often, use red bell peppers and not only tomatoes to shadow some of the sour taste.
- Add a pinch of baking soda, about half a teaspoon. This will change the sour to be a little salty. At this point, put a pinch of sugar. I find this last point my every time best method.
- In this recipe, I roasted my peppers, onions and tomatoes to bring out that inviting flavor.
- Sometimes, cooking stew takes a while because, you want most of the water from the tomatoes or peppers to dry off. Boil them to reduce the amount of water before blending.
- Always save the stock to use for extra flavor and taste.
- You can skip roasting the peppers and blend right away before cooking.
- Can make it spicy depending on your level of spiciness. In this recipe, I cooked my scotch bonnets whole to control the spiciness because my kids do not eat spicy food. I can pick up the pepper and mash inside my plate.
- You can replace tomato sauce with tomato paste.
- Garnishing with any fresh herbs adds up the flavor.
I decided to use chicken in this recipe because it’s what I had in hand. Can be substituted with beef, fish or any proteins, but the cooking time and method will be slightly different.
What can I serve with Stew?
- Cassava or yuca roots and many more.
How To preserve stew:
Stew is very delicate and goes bad easily. Preserve left over in the refrigerator for up to 3 days then in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator, then microwave or let it simmer on low heat till warm or hot.
African Chicken Stew
- Blender or food processor
To Season Chicken
- 2 kg Chicken cut into large sizes
- 1 tsp Ginger powder
- 1 tsp Garlic powder
- 1 tsp Paprika
- 1 tsp Thyme
- 1 tsp Blackpepper
- ½ tbsp. Bouillon powder or seasoning powder
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 3 Cups Water
To Cook Stew
- 1 cup Cooking oil
- 3 Large bell peppers sliced into 2” cubes
- 1 Onion sliced
- 5 Tomatoes medium size,cut into 2” cubes
- 1 cup Tomato sauce or ½ cup tomato paste
- 2 tsp. Paprika
- 1 tsp Black pepper
- 2 tsp. Curry powder
- ½ tbsp. Ginger/garlic paste. ½ thump size ginger4 garlic cloves.
- ½ tsp. White pepper
- 2 tsp. Seasoning powder
- 2 cups Chicken stock
- 2 Scotch bonnets
- Fresh Parsley chopped, to garnish
- Prepare the oven and preheat it to 400° F. Also, prepare a baking tray by lining it with parchment paper.
- Place chicken slices in a bowl, sprinkle seasoning powder and 1 tsp. of each ginger powder, black pepper, paprika, thyme and salt, marinade the chicken using your hand until everything is evenly coated on the chicken.
- Then transfer the marinated chicken to the instant pot or pressure cooker, pour water and cook for 7 minutes or cook in a pot till tender. if using a pot, check every 5 minutes to add water if needed to avoid it from burning
- Meanwhile, spread bell pepper, onion and tomato on the prepared baking tray, place in the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Save some few slices of onion to saute later.
- After the chicken is fully cooked, take the chicken out of the pot and place it in the air fryer, spray with oil and air fry for 10-15 minutes. Or deep fry in a pot of oil till golden brown.
- After 10 minutes, take the vegetables out of the oven and transfer them to the food processor bowl, process until smooth and everything is well blended.
- Pour oil into a pot over medium heat; when oil is hot, add a few slices of onion and sauté, then add the blended pepper mix and stir until cooked through (till some of the oil floats). This will take about 10 minutes. You can also add chicken broth to adjust the thickness.
- Add tomato sauce, paprika, black pepper, curry powder, ginger/garlic paste, white pepper, thyme, salt and seasoning powder. Mix until everything combines well.
- Finally, add scotch bonnets, cover with a lid allow the mixture to simmer for 5 minutes. Taste to adjust.
- Then carefully add air-fried or deep fried chicken and simmer for another 2 minutes, then garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
- Remove from heat and serve with side of choice.