Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Nigerian Red Chicken Stew

Before I begin I am not sure if this is "authentic" or not, I've seen recipes and videos on youtube by Nigerian and non- Nigerian people cooking it and they all do it different, even some blogs I've seen. (some boil the meat first, etc.)

The recipe I use as a guideline is from a woman that calls her self "Chi Chi" (yes I know what that could be slang for in Spanish ha ha), but I don't do everything exactly as directed I just kinda do it my way.


Now with that said, I love love this stew, the commonalities I've seen among all recipes is that they all use onion, garlic, habaneros or scotch bonnets, salt, and bouillon cubes or powder.

My way is different when I cook chicken in the sense that I brown the chicken really well , creating a "fond"/ base for my sauce using the delicious caramelized brown bits on the bottom of the pan which I de-glaze. It makes a big difference, I also like to cut up my chicken bone in into small pieces it makes it very very flavorful, and the chicken cooks in the sauce as well until tender. Everything marries well. This stew can be done with any meat of your choice (goat, chicken, pork, beef, etc.)

I am not an expert or know anything about African cooking, but I do know how to make meat stews come out delicious :)


-3 lbs/ 1 whole chicken, cut into bite size pieces, cleaned
-salt and pepper to taste
-cooking oil
-1 large onion minced
-1 large thumb size piece of ginger minced
-1/2 head of garlic minced
-1 cup tomato sauce
-2 scotch bonnets or habanero peppers
-2 teaspoons curry powder (whatever your favorite curry powder is)
-1 teaspoon dried thyme (fresh works to)
-1 bay leaf
-2 teaspoons chicken bouillon
-water (enough to barely cover chicken)

(1) Heat a large pot on high heat, add oil, and when it's almost gonna smoke, add chicken and allow to brown on all sides.
(2) Meanwhile puree your tomato sauce with your habanero or scotch peppers, set aside.

(3) Chop everything and get everything ready while your chicken is browning, when chicken is done browning set aside, and add a little more oil, add your minced onion, garlic, and ginger sautee until fragrant, make sure to scrape to get the flavorful golden caramelization.
(4) Then add your curry powder, thyme, and bay leaf. Stir together until fragrant maybe 30 seconds don't let it burn. Add the chicken back and coat with everything.
(5) Add enough water to barely cover the chicken and the bouillon, bring to a rolling boil and add salt to taste. Allow to simmer 30 minutes until chicken is very tender.
(6) After 30 minutes remove from heat.
It goes very well served over white fluffy rice, with some fried plantains and if you wish some cooked greens or something. At home we sauteed some asparagus with lots of olive oil and garlic.

(1) I use 2-3 scotch bonnets or habaneros with the seeds and all because I like it very very spicy, you can use 1 habanero if you wish, or substitute it for a green or red bell pepper then it wouldn't be spicy at all.

(2) The black pepper, curry powder, dried thyme, bay leaf, and ginger are optional but I really like the flavor of all those combines together and I believe it's what makes it special and unique. If it didn't have that, it would taste like the spicy Mexican tomato based sauces then you can add cilantro ha ha.

(3) You can also use 6 tomatoes really well pureed instead of the tomato sauce, but I prefer the tomato sauce.

(4) Let me tell you this is my boyfriends favorite stews and has become one of my favorites as well.