African Chicken Stew – a stew like no other. It’s easy, aromatic and flavorful with a thick rich tomato-based sauce. Great weeknight meal. Pair it with warm rice and plantains and you’ll have your new favorite chicken dinner!
Stews have always been a part of the cuisine in Africa specifically in West African countries like Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and my home country Cameroon. They are 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 I love them all, to be honest. But what makes it African-style is that it starts with browning the chicken that gives the stew extra flavor. You may choose to omit this part to cut down on the use of oil.
How to Make Chicken Stew the African-style?
Tomato-based dishes are a big thing in most African countries. We just love that acidic and sweetness flavor profile you get in a tomato-based stew.
Now after browning the chicken, this stew is followed 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 reduces 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. Yielding an intensely flavorful yet balanced sauce.
While some stews may take a long time to cook, the actual preparation is simple and straight forward with AMAZING results. Trust me, you’ll want seconds and thirds of this.
How Long Can You Keep Chicken Stew in the Fridge?
This type of stew usually is good for 1-2 days in the fridge in an airtight container. Just simply reheat it through on the stovetop when serving.
What to Serve with Chicken Stew?
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,). Below are just few of our favorite dishes to pair with this scrumptious dinner.
More Stew Recipes to Explore
- Slow Cooker Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken
- Brunswick Stew
- Hot Pot Potatoes (African Stewed Potatoes)
- Maafe (Peanut Stew)
- Jamaican Oxtail Stew
- Fish Stew
How to Make Chicken Stew (African Style)
Season chicken with, salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning. Set aside.
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.
If using fresh tomatoes, blend tomatoes, onions, garlic, and onions. Pour the tomatoes 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 the thickness of soup with water or stock. Season with salt according to preference. Remove bay leaf. Serve over warm rice.
Watch How To Make It
This post was first published in September 2013 and has been updated with new photos, write up and a video.
Chicken Stew (African-Style)
- 3-3½ pound (1.5kg) chicken, cut in pieces
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 teaspoons (4-8g) Creole seasoning
- ¼-½ cup (62-125g) oil (canola, olive, or vegetable oil)
- 5-6 Roma tomatoes (or 2 cups tomato sauce)
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1 tablespoon (8g) garlic, minced (3-4 cloves)
- 1½ teaspoon (1.5g) dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon (7g) smoked paprika
- ¼ teaspoon (0.5g) curry powder
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon Maggi or bouillon (chicken-flavored)
- 2 cups (475ml) water
- 2 green onion, chopped (whites and green parts)
- 3 tablespoon (12g) parsley
- 1-2 cups (130-250g) carrot, sliced
- Season chicken with salt, pepper, and Creole seasoning. Set aside.
- Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat until hot, and then add the chicken and sauté, stirring frequently and scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pot until the chicken is brown.
- If using fresh tomatoes, blend tomatoes, onions, and garlic.
- If using tomato sauce, saute the onion and garlic until tender (4-5 minutes).
- Pour the tomato blend (or sauce, onion, and garlic) into the pot of chicken, add the thyme, smoked paprika, curry powder, bay leaf, and bouillon, bring to a boil, and let it simmer until tender (depending on the chicken), 20-30 minutes, frequently stirring to prevent the stew from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan.
- Add carrots, green onions, and parsley. Cook for five more minutes. Adjust the thickness of the stew with water or stock.
- Season with salt according to preference. Remove bay leaf.
- Serve over warm rice.
Tips & Notes:
- You can throw in other vegetables, like potatoes or sweet potatoes, into this dish towards the last 15-20 minutes of cooking.
- You may use bone-in chicken breast for this dish. Or a rotisserie chicken, provided you add the chicken towards the last 15 minutes of cooking.
- For a little kick, you may add a bit of cayenne pepper.
- When using a crockpot, brown the chicken first, then add onions and tomato blend. Saute for about 5 minutes and finish it off in the crock pot for 3-4 hours on high.
- I used canola oil for this recipe, and I would not recommend palm oil for this one.
- Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.