African chicken stew is an easy and delicious slow cooker chicken recipe that is loaded with rich, aromatic flavor! The tomato based sauce is full of healthy ingredients, and the fall off the bone chicken is going to blow you away. It’s sweet, with multiple depths of flavor, from the slight spiciness of the hot pepper to the cool and bright ginger and red bell pepper. All in all, this Nigerian chicken stew is a fantastic meal that the whole family will love!
Why Make African Chicken Stew?
I was inspired to make this recipe after watching the show ‘High On The Hog‘ on Netflix. The documentary explains how African food and the culture that surrounds that food has transformed food in America. I was not only moved by the stories of exploitation and loss that so many African Americans had and have to endure, but I was also deeply moved by the love and spirit that continues to go into their food.
This Nigerian tomato stew with chicken is just one of the thousands of African inspired recipes that you can make today! I encourage you to get out there and educate yourselves on how African food traditions have been the catalyst for many of the foods that you love to eat today.
This specific recipe was inspired by a ‘West African Jollof Rice With Red Chicken‘ recipe made by Kwame Onwuachi. He is a poneer in the African American food scene, and is currently one of the judges on ‘Top Chef’! Go check out his awesome YouTube video where he makes his West African stew HERE.
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How Do You Make This Chicken Stew Recipe?
The sauce is made by blending all of the ingredients together! Then, it is boiled to develop the flavors, and poured into the slow cooker along with the drumsticks. Slow cook it for about 4 hours on high, and you’ve got dinner! Here, let me break it down:
- Start by placing the chopped tomatoes, red bell pepper, tomato paste, curry paste, red onions, chicken bouillon cube, seeded jalapeño pepper, ginger, oregano, garlic cloves and red pepper flakes into a blender or food processor and process until the texture of a thick tomato sauce.
- Pour 1/3 of a cup of avocado oil (this oil is healthier than vegetable oil and has a similar high smoking point) into a pot or dutch oven, and increase the heat to medium-high.
- Carefully pour in the tomato sauce, as it can splatter with the hot oil. Stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, allow the sauce to come to a boil. Low boil for 4 minutes, stirring to prevent burning. This allows the flavors and aromatics in the sauce to develop into a deep and rich flavor.
- When done, carefully pour the sauce into your slow cooker. Place the drumsticks in the sauce, making sure they are fully covered. Place the lid on.
- Cook for 4 hours on high, or 7-8 hours on low. Serve with a side of rice and veggie of choice. Enjoy!
What TO Serve With African Stew:
This is the perfect stew to serve with rice or barley! Since rice is one of the ingredients that africans brought over with them during the slave trade, is it a nice homage to pay this African meal. Serve it with whatever vegetable you like. Collard greens or okra would be another fantastic way to keep this dishes African roots!
A few slices of toasted bread are the perfect way to add a little crunch to the meal. They soak up the bright and delicious sauce like a champ. And trust me, you are not going to want to leave ANY of the sauce on the plate when you are done!
Might I add that this could be a great recipe to add to your Juneteenth recipes list?!
In need of a good, affordable slow cooker? This is the one that I use, but in Navy! Crock-Pot Manual Slow Cooker, Navy Blue, 3.5 quart
Frequently Asked Questions:
|Can I make this on the stovetop?||You can absolutely make this on the stovetop! Instead of transferring the sauce to a crock pot, keep it in the pot on the stove and add the chicken to the pot. The benefits of using a slow cooker are a more even cooking temperature, and the luxury of being able to leave it to cook while you run errands or work. If you cook it on the stovetop, you just need to make sure you are checking it frequently, stirring to prevent burning, keeping a lid on it and adjusting the temperature as needed.|
|Do I have to use chicken drumsticks?||No, drumsticks are optional! Whatever cut of chicken that you use, I recommend using the bone in, skin on kind. This helps to develop the flavors of the stew. You can also serve this with a different kind of meat, such as oxtail, beef or goat.|
|Is this spicy?||Only slightly. Every bite starts with the sweet, robust tomato flavor, followed by the complex aromatics and a slight lingering ‘spice’ of the jalapeño and red pepper flakes on the back of the tongue. By no means is this a ‘sweat while you eat‘ spicyness. It’s more of an ode to spicy. But, of course, I spooned the seeds out of my jalapeño pepper, and we all know that most of the spiciness comes from the seeds! So if you want more spice, just skip that step.|
|Do I HAVE to use organic tomato products?||Have you ever tasted an organic tomato right after tasting a non-organic tomato? It is like night and day! They are synthetic pesticide free, and they have been found to be more nutritious, with higher levels of vitamin C than conventional tomatoes. I will link the study HERE. What it really boils down to for me is the taste. When I make a meal, I want it to have the strongest, best flavors that it can possibly have. I don’t waste my time with conventional, bland tomatoes, but that is my own personal opinion. Let me know in the comments how you feel about organic vs. conventional tomatoes!|
Slow Cooker African Chicken Stew
- slow cooker
- 6-10 chicken drumsticks (depending on size of family and appetites)
- 6 organic tomatoes
- 1 6 ounce can of organic tomato paste
- 2 red onions, peeled
- 5 large garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 inches ginger, peeled
- 1 tbsp red curry paste
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- 1 jalapeno pepper, stem cut off and seeds scooped out
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/3 cup avocado oil (or vegetable oil, however, avocado oil is healthier)
- optional garnish of parsley and green onion
- Chop the tomatoes, red bell pepper and onions into quarters or strips. Peel the garlic cloves and ginger, and remove the seeds from the jalapeno pepper.
- Place the chopped tomatoes, red bell pepper, tomato paste, curry paste, red onions, chicken bouillon cube, seeded jalapeño pepper, ginger, dried oregano, garlic cloves and red pepper flakes into a blender or food processor and process until the texture of a thick tomato sauce.
- Pour 1/3 of a cup of avocado oil (this oil is healthier than vegetable oil and has a similar high smoking point) into a pot or dutch oven, and increase the heat to medium-high. Carefully pour in the tomato sauce, as it can splatter with the hot oil. Stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, allow the sauce to come to a boil.
- Low boil for 4 minutes, stirring to prevent burning. This allows the flavors and aromatics in the sauce to develop into a deep and rich flavor.
- When done, carefully pour the sauce into your slow cooker. Place the chicken drumsticks in the sauce, making sure they are fully covered. Place the lid on.
- Cook for 4 hours on high, or 7-8 hours on low. Serve with a side of rice and veggie of choice. Option to garnish with parsley and green onion. Enjoy!
Did you like this Slow Cooker African Stew recipe?! If so, you should go check out my Jamaican Jerk Baked Turkey Breast recipe!
Crispy and seasoned on the outside and juicy on the inside, this Jamaican jerk baked turkey breast recipe is a sure fire way to level up your poultry game! The jerk spice rub uses spices you will surely find in your pantry, and you will have to resist drinking the caramelized and spicy Jamaican jerk …