Nigerian Chicken Stew (Red Tomato Stew)

August 21, 2017
Spicy and aromatic Nigerian Chicken Stew made with roma tomatoes, red bell peppers, and seasoned chicken. A very classic and popular dish from Nigeria that can be eaten with many things.

Spicy and aromatic Nigerian Chicken Stew made with roma tomatoes, red bell peppers, and seasoned chicken. A very classic and popular dish from Nigeria that can be eaten with many things.

The time has finally come! I’m sharing one of the most popular recipes to come out of Nigeria, and something that I’ve been eating since practically coming out of the womb. Stews and soups make up a large portion of Nigerian (and African) cuisine and stew, as it’s commonly called, is the main ingredient in many Nigerian recipes like Jollof rice, coconut rice, beans, etc.I always make sure to have a pot of stew in my refrigerator, so whenever I prepare Nigerian chicken stew I make sure to make a large amount because it freezes very well!  Come to think of it, almost every Nigerian household I have been to always has a pot of stew either freshly prepared or in the fridge because it can be eaten with so many things! The main ingredients in Nigerian Chicken Stew are roma (or plum) tomatoes, red bell peppers, tomato paste, and habanero peppers. When it comes to the protein, you can use anything that you like! For this recipe I am only using chicken because I don’t eat red meat a lot. Growing up my mum would make stew with both chicken and beef, or goat meat and this is actually the most common way it’s served. Feel free to use whatever you’d like! My mum also makes a version with fresh fish. A couple things to note when making this dish:

  1. Tomatoes– You can use fresh or tinned tomatoes. In this recipe I used both. A lot of people don’t like the way tinned tomatoes taste so they only use fresh. If you use fresh tomatoes you’re going to need to use tomato paste so that you can really get that tomato flavor and red color. I include tomato paste anyway 🙂
  2. Chicken, Beef, etc.– For this recipe I am only using chicken, and I cook the chicken BEFORE it goes into the stew. I never put raw meat or chicken to cook into the stew, and while I suppose you can more flavor goes into the stew when you cook it beforehand. I like to season my chicken pieces, fry it in oil until it turns golden brown, and then finish cooking it in the oven. I also won’t add the chicken until about 10-15 minutes before the stew finishes cooking that way the chicken doesn’t melt, or fall a part in the stew. You want intact pieces of meat or chicken.
  3. It is super important to cook or fry the tomato mixture until it’s reduced in more than half of it’s size and is a deep red color because you want to make sure you get rid of the bitterness of the tomatoes. If you don’t fry the mixture long enough you’ll get a sour taste. A good way to know it;s ready is when the color is a deep red and the oil rises back up over the mixture.

You can use this stew to eat with parboiled white rice, beans, yam… the list goes on! I love to eat my stew with white rice, sauteed spinach, and a boiled egg. Check out the recipe below!

Nigerian Chicken Stew (Red Tomato Stew)
 
Spicy and aromatic Nigerian Chicken Stew made with roma tomatoes, red bell peppers, and seasoned chicken. A very classic and popular dish from Nigeria that can be eaten with many things.
Author:
Cuisine: Nigerian
Ingredients
For the Stew
  • ¼-1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 pounds chicken cut in pieces
  • 4 roma tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 28 oz can whole peeled plum tomatoes, discard the liquid
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 habanero peppers
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 1½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon Nigerian red pepper (or Cameroonian red pepper) **
  • 1 teaspoon Accent
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • water as needed
For the Chicken
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
Instructions
  1. Wash and cut chicken into bite-sized cubes or pieces.
  2. Place in a pot and add water, thyme, chicken bouillon cube, salt and black pepper to taste. Cook the chicken until done and then fry until golden brown. Place the chicken on a rack and cook in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Set aside.
  3. Blend the tomatoes, habanero peppers, bell peppers in a blender until pureed.
  4. In a large pot heat up the vegetable oil and add the sliced onions frying just until the turn golden brown.
  5. Add the tomato mixture and fry for about 25 minutes until the mixture reduces in size, turns a deep red, and the oil begins to separate from the tomatoes. Stir continuously to prevent burning at the bottom. Add the tomato paste and fry for an additional 5 minutes.
  6. Add the chicken stock and seasonings (dried thyme, red pepper, accent, bouillon cube, and bay leaf).
  7. Stir together, and add more water if needed. Continue to simmer for 15 minutes.
  8. Serve with rice, beans, or anything of your choice.
Notes
** No Nigerian or Cameroonian red pepper? Cayenne pepper works just fine

Spicy and aromatic Nigerian Chicken Stew made with roma tomatoes, red bell peppers, and seasoned chicken. A very classic and popular dish from Nigeria that can be eaten with many things.

 

 

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  • Ant August 23, 2017 at 5:22 am

    I pinned this for later. Is there a Nigerian red pepper that you like better than others? This looks amazing.

    • evseats September 15, 2017 at 9:06 am

      Yes you can buy it online! If you can’t find it try using Cameroonian red pepper because it may be easier to find. If you can’t find both, red pepper works just fine!

  • Maggie Unzueta August 23, 2017 at 8:22 am

    Pinning for later. We had Nigerian food once many years ago, and we still talk about that meal.

    • evseats September 15, 2017 at 9:07 am

      thanks Maggie! Hope you like it!

  • Kallie August 24, 2017 at 2:56 am

    WOW this looks so good. Saving for later. It’s always nice to try new dishes and this looks tasty!

    • evseats September 15, 2017 at 9:07 am

      thanks Kallie!

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