I have an unfortunate history with stews. They never taste good except that whenever I make a stew base for my jollof rice it always ends up tasting so good that I have to save some for rice at a later time. When I told my partner I was going to make chicken stew, we stared at each other and burst into laughter because we knew or at least I knew it was going to be meh until he reminded me that I didn't have to redeem myself because I had already made a very bomb chicken stew in the past. Of course I didn't remember that because they was no indication of it in my recipe book.
The first time I made this chicken, we loved it but I knew it could be better so I made it again with a few changes and suffice to say, this is the best damn chicken I have ever made or even tasted. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Check out my. insta highlights for short videos on how I prepared this chicken stew.
what you need
For the Chicken Marinade
1.5kg chicken drumsticks/thighs (or a mix of both)
1/4 cup onion purée
2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup chili pepper puree
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
2 star anise
1 tablespoon chicken seasoning powder
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried parsely
1 teaspoon dried sage
1 teaspoon dried cumin
For the chicken stew
1 big onion sliced
1/2 cup onion puree
1/3 to 1/2 cup pepper puree (optional)
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
I teaspoon dried fennel seeds
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 cup tomato paste
2 cups fresh tomato puree
3 cups reserved chicken stock (don't worry if it isn't up to)
2 bay leafs
1 1/4 cup veg oil
1 onion, cut into thick rings for garnishing
1 teaspoon sugar*
Sometimes no matter how diligent we are about choosing very ripe tomatoes, there are a few sour ones that will throw off the sweetness , in that case add sugar to offset the sourness.
If you turn the heat up, you risk the chance of burning the stew and once stew burns, it's almost impossible to get rid of the burnt flavor.
Simmering the stew on low heat allows the tomato to release it's natural sweetness.
I make all my purées by blending the particular ingredients with as little water as I can get away with.
Combine all the ingredients for the chicken marinade and set over medium heat. Stir and cover and allow to simmer for 5 mins. Add 2 cups of water, taste and adjust salt and allow the chicken to simmer until cooked through, about 10 to 15 mins (depending on your cut size). Separate chicken from the stock. Set the set stock aside for later (discard star anise)
Meanwhile heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan (the same pan will be used for the stew). Fry chicken until golden brown and set aside.
For the stew, add the sliced onions and fry until soft and fragrant then add the minced garlic, dried rosemary and fennel seeds and fry until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and fry for 5 mins then add the fresh tomato puree. Stir and cover and allow it to simmer for about 8 mins then add the chicken stock and bay leaf. Turn heat to low and let the stew simmer for 20 mins then add the onion and pepper puree (if using any). Stir, cover and allow stew to simmer for an additional 30 mins until it reaches desired consistency. Taste and adjust salt to preference. Add sugar if the chicken stew is sour. Add the fried chicken first, stir then add the onion rings, stir and allow to simmer for 2 mins and turn the heat off.
Serve with steamed rice, yam, my flatbread or bank. Enjoy!