My Chicken Stew

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Ah! Monday! 🙂

The day that most of us dread…hope we all had a great weekend!

Stew is one major staple in Nigerian homes, in every fridge/freezer of every home, there must always be stew. Been planning this stew for sometime, finally made it and I’m glad! I shared benefits of tomatoes  on Friday especially when made as stew.

As a teenager,  stew was one of the first things I learnt to make or rather, one of the first foods my mum allowed me cook. Till her going to be with the Lord, my mother made her own soup, couldn’t trust anyone else to make it as well as she did, lol. Each time I cooked a pot of stew, she and my Uncle To. would compliment me and tell me the stew was lovely,  I honestly didn’t believe them!. Lol, in my mouth the stew tasted like…stew, no different than other stews I tasted but then my taste palatte wasn’t as developed so who knows, perhaps they were not just encouraging me, maybe they really did enjoy the stew.

It wasn’t until I got into university and started cooking for myself that my palettes woke up.  A friends roomate was cooking stew and oh! the aroma. I asked her what she did different and she said nothing except that she was hungry and in a hurry so she added all her ingredients at once, covered the pot and left the tomato alone to cook…that was enough difference for me because up until that point I had always followed procedure of -heat the oil, add onions, after 3 minutes pour in the tomatoes and keep stirring until it’s time to season, add meat stock, then stir until done. I tried her method, I infact poured the oil into the tomato and not the other way around, added a little seasoning then covered the pot and left it alone, just like she did. Now I can believe anyone who tells me my stew tastes nice because covering the pot while the tomato fries gives the stew a distinct flavour, I don’t start stirring until the tomato starts sticking slightly to the bottom of the pot which is usually after about 20-30 minutes of frying/boiling so no need to keep opening the pot unnecessarily, releasing the flavours.

It’s this same principle I apply to all my stews, fresh fish stew/boiled stew, chicken stew or palm oil stew. The seasonings ans stock make a slight difference but the distinct the flavour is the same.

Today, we do Chicken stew, Isioma I hope you like it. 🙂

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Ingredients : ( 2.5 litres )

1 whole chicken

20 ripe tomatoes

12 large tatashe

5-8 scotch bonnets/atarodo/fresh pepper

2 large onions

1 inches fresh ginger

2 garlic cloves

1/2 teaspoon thyme

3-4 bay leaves

1 Maggi chicken cube

Salt to taste

Chicken stock

2 cooking spoons of vegetable oil

Chicken Seasoning :

1/2 teaspoon Rosemary

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1 garlic clove

1 teaspoon grated ginger

2 bulbs scotch bonnets / atarodo/ fresh pepper

1 Maggi chicken cube

Salt to taste

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Method :

Wash and portion chicken. Blend the fresh ginger, garlic and pepper with half cup of water, add it to the portioned chicken along with the rest of its seasoning. Set aside and allow it marinade for at least 30 minutes.

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Blend the tomato, tatashe, onions,  pepper,  pinger and garlic until smooth.

Pour into a pot, add the cooking oil, thyme and Maggi cube. Cover and allow it boil for 20 minutes. *Don’t open the pot or stir the stew during this time, once stirred, the stew will start sticking to the bottom of the pot early. You will have to continue stirring to prevent it from burning which will prematurely release all the lovely tomato and pepper flavours before they are formed.

Start boiling the chicken using the initial water it releases, after about 15 minutes depending on what sort of chicken you are using start adding 1/2 cup of water at a time until it’s almost done. Turn off heat and strain meat from the remaining stock.

I got about 2 cups of stock from the chicken, so I didn’t need to dilute stew after it thickened,  I simply used the meat stock.

Skim off oil

Skim off oil

Fry the chicken slightly or until golden brown, drain in a paper napkin and set aside.

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Start checking the stew after 20- 25 minutes depending on how much water was used to blend.

Crack the bay leaves to help release its flavour

Crack the bay leaves to help release its flavour

Add cracked bay leaves and gently dipping a metal cooking spoon into the bottom of the pot, once the stew has started sticking to the bottom of the pot, the stew is done.

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Add the meat stock and check for salt.

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Now you can stir all you want, allow it boil another 15 minutes then add the fried meat.

Turn off heat after 10-15 minutes.

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With a hot bowl of rice, enjoy!

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Have a blessed week!

Have a blessed week!

Azu 🙂 .

 

 

 

14 Comments

  1. Isioma says:

    Am so happy am actually speechless. Azu thanks so much for this recipe can’t wait to try it.

  2. uloaku nnoli says:

    You make me wanna cook this,I like the chicken looks delicious. well done

  3. neker17 says:

    * picks purse and heads to Shoprite in holy anger*
    Azu cannot be tormenting me like this. I am going to cook my own!

  4. Isioma says:

    My dear chef. I want to know if its compulsory to use garlic for seasoning ? I want to know y u use atarodo to boil the chicken. Thanks for shared knowledge. You are blessed.

    • Hi Isy baby,
      No you don’t have to use garlic but I wish you would even if it’s just a little. It’s really good as an anti-viral and also cleanses the blood, I know most of us can’t stand the smell so it’s ok to leave it out. Ginger gives good flavours so your meal will still taste great.

      I used fresh atarodo for the chicken because fresh spices actually give better tasting chicken. You will notice I use dry Cameroon pepper in goat meat and stomach parts (shaki/tripe, abodi, round-about) because they pair well but when it comes to poultry fresh herbs and spices are best (rosemary, thyme, ginger, garlic, pepper), I used dry rosemary and thyme however because I didn’t have fresh ones nearby.

  5. Dinah Inyang says:

    I’ve tried dis stew but with beef and it came out perfect, though I used my already prepared tomato puree. Azuka I would request dat u do a refresher on making puree, I’ve introduced it to a couple of friends and we never regretted it, it reduces stew making progress by half. Tnx for bringing variety to our kitchen

    • Wow Dinah!
      This is quite encouraging. Glad to hear that you and your friends are enjoying the time saving benefits of will certainly do a refresher on it. Thanks for stopping by!

  6. Isioma says:

    Hey chef finally cooked my chicken stew and almost lost ur to pepper. Thanks for bailing me out. Av a great week.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Azu dear, thank you so much for this recipe. I used to go through the whole process of boiling the tomatoes then flying blablabla and my stew always ends up burnt and not so tasty. I tried this recipe last night and o my days! Stew came out lovely! Amazing how such less stressful process yields better tastier result. Thanks again. I ll definitely be a regular visitor of this site. Wink!

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