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West African Chicken Stew (From Well Fed 2)

West African Chicken Stew (From Well Fed 2)

  • Author: Melissa Joulwan
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 55 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 mins
  • Yield: 3-4 1x


  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 4 skinless chicken thighs
  • Salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1/2 medium brown onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated (about 1 tbsp)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced or minsed (about 1 tbsp)
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chilli
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves
  • 400 grams crashed tomatoes ( 1+1/2 cups or 1 can tinned tomatoes)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 + 1/2 tablespoons cashew butter (1/4 cup sunflower butter in the original recipe but I didn’t have any)
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Cut each chicken thigh into 4-5 pieces and season generously with salt and pepper. Heat a large saucepan, casserole dish or a deep frying pan over medium-high heat and melt the coconut oil. Add chicken pieces and brown well on both sides, about 4-5 minutes on each side. Remove the chicken to a bowl, including all the juices.
  2. In the same saucepan, cook the onion and ginger for about 5-6 minutes on low/medium heat. Add garlic, coriander, paprika, chilli, bay leave and cloves and cook for about 30 seconds to release the aromas. Add tomatoes and water and stir to combine. Add the chicken pieces back in, together with the juices, stir and increase the heat to bring the pot to boil. Then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 25 minutes with the lid on.
  3. In the original recipe you will remove the chicken from the pot after 25 minutes but I missed that step so I added the cashew or sunflower butter and vanilla to the pot with the chicken in it and mixed to combine and dissolve. Otherwise you would have to add the chicken back in after you’ve added the butter and vanilla. My way worked just fine as well. Stir and cook all together for a few more minutes, uncovered. Taste for seasoning and add a generous pinch of salt if you wish…I did. Sprinkle with fresh parsley or chopped spring onion and extra sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
  4. We served this stew with a side of pan-fried silver beet/chard, green beans, zucchini and carrots.

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