Nigerian Chicken Stew

    Nigerian Chicken Stew is a popular, delightful stew in West Africa. It is a versatile dish that can be served with nearly anything, such as rice, yam, plantains, bread, or whatever else you choose.

    The stew is made with succulent chicken pieces cooked simmered in a fragrant tomato and pepper-based sauce(usually scotch bonnet or habanero) and bold spices, and it can be prepared with either roasted or fried chicken, giving it a vibrant red color. 

    The chicken is simmered in a savory sauce made with tomatoes and peppers, which gives it a rich and flavorful taste. This hearty stew is a staple in Nigerian households and is often served during special occasions and gatherings, and it is also known in most West African homes. 

    Nigerian Chicken Stew
    Image Credit: Facebook

    What is Nigerian Chicken Stew Made of?

    Nigerian stew is made from a rich blend of ingredients combined to create its distinctive flavors. The key ingredients of Nigerian chicken stew typically include:

    Chicken: Chicken is a common protein source used in Nigerian stew. It can be cut into pieces and is often the primary meat ingredient, though other meats like beef or goat can also be used.

    Tomatoes: Ripe tomatoes give the stew its red color and a hint of sweetness.

    Peppers (Scotch bonnet or habanero): These fiery chili peppers add significant heat and depth to the stew. The choice of peppers can vary based on personal preference for spiciness.

    Onions: Onions add a savory and aromatic base to the stew. They are usually finely chopped or blended, depending on personal preference.

    Garlic and ginger: These aromatic ingredients are often minced or grated and added for their flavor.

    Vegetable oil: Vegetable oil is used for sautéing the onions, garlic, and ginger and frying the chicken.

    In addition to these primary ingredients, Nigerian stew is seasoned with various spices and seasonings, such as:

    Thyme: Thyme adds an earthy and herbal flavor to the stew.

    Curry powder: Curry powder adds a warm and slightly spicy note to the dish.

    Bay leaves: These aromatic leaves infuse the stew with a subtle, fragrant aroma(optional).

    Stock cubes (e.g. Maggi): Stock cubes are often used to enhance the taste of the stew and add depth to the broth.

    How to Boil Chicken in Nigeria?

    Boiling chicken in Nigeria involves cleaning and seasoning chicken pieces, boiling them in salted water until fully cooked, and then using the tender and flavorful chicken as a base for various Nigerian dishes or serving it with a dipping sauce. This straightforward cooking method is versatile and adaptable, making it a basic step in preparing many traditional Nigerian recipes, from stews and soups to fried rice and more.

    Nigerian Chicken Stew
    Image Credit: Facebook

    How Long Does It Take to Boil Nigerian Chicken?

    Boiling chicken is the basis of cooking chicken for Nigerian Chicken Stew. The time it takes to boil Nigerian chicken may vary depending on the recipe and the size of the chicken pieces, but it usually takes 20 to 25 minutes.

    Why is Nigerian Chicken so Tough?

    Due to factors such as the chicken’s age, greater activity levels, and nutrition changes, Nigerian chicken, particularly “hard chicken” or locally reared kinds, can be tougher than commercial poultry.

    They are fed with a natural diet and slow-cooked to increase flavor, making the meat slightly chewier. Despite this, Nigerian chicken provides a unique and tasty experience. 

    Nigerian Chicken Stew

    Nigerian Chicken Stew

    A versatile dish that can be served with nearly anything, such as rice, yam, plantains, bread, or whatever else you choose.
    Prep Time 20 minutes
    Cook Time 30 minutes
    Total Time 50 minutes
    Course stew
    Cuisine Nigerian


    • 1 kg chicken
    • large sized onions
    • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
    • 2 teaspoon thyme
    • 2 teaspoon curry
    • seasoning cubes
    • olive oil
    • 1 canned tomato paste
    • 2 cup scotch bonnet (ground)
    • 1 cup fresh tomatoes (ground)
    • ¼ cup tatashe (ground)
    • chicken broth from chicken


    • Start by washing and cleaning 1 kg of chicken, then set it aside.
    • Chop a generous amount of large-sized onions finely.
    • In a bowl, mix 2 teaspoons of garlic powder, 1 teaspoon of ginger powder, 2 teaspoons of thyme, 2 teaspoons of curry, and crumble in your preferred amount of seasoning cubes.
    • In a large pot, heat some olive oil over medium heat.
    • Add the chopped onions to the hot oil and sauté them until they become translucent and slightly golden.
    • Add the seasoned spice mixture to the onions and continue to cook, stirring, until the spices release their aroma.
    • Stir in the tomato paste, ground scotch bonnet pepper, fresh tomatoes, tatashe (red bell pepper)
    • Cook this mixture for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently, until the oil starts to separate from the tomato paste.
    • Meanwhile, boil the chicken with enough water to cover it until it's fully cooked.
    • Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the broth and set the broth aside.
    • Add the cooked chicken pieces to the tomato-spice mixture and fry for a few minutes until the chicken is well coated with the sauce.
    • Simmer the stew for about 20-30 minutes on low heat, allowing the flavors to meld and the chicken to absorb the sauce.
    • Once the Nigerian chicken stew is rich and well-cooked, serve it hot with your choice of accompaniments like rice, yam, or plantains.


    Gradually add some of the reserved chicken broth to the pot to achieve your desired consistency for the stew, stirring well.
    Keyword Nigerian Chicken Stew
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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