West African Chicken Stew

West African Chicken Stew – Chicken braised in a spicy, smoky African tomato stew makes a delicious one pot dish. Ready in about an hour, this recipe is perfect for busy days!  

  • Author: Sharila
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Cook Time: 70 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dishes
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: West African


Units Scale

For the chicken:

  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon chicken bouillon
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried ginger
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

For the stew:

  • 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
  • 2 yellow onions, halved
  • 1 2 inch piece ginger, peeled
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 scotch bonnet peppers
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 6 Roma tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 Maggi shrimp cube (optional, can substitute with salt or bouillon)
  • 14-oz can mackerel in tomato sauce, roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons Jamaican curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • salt (to taste)


  1. In a medium bowl, rub chicken with vinegar. Season with salt, bouillon, paprika, cayenne, curry powder, ginger, and turmeric.
  2. Heat a heavy bottomed pot over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil.
  3. Brown chicken on both sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
  4. With a wooden spoon, scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Add 1/2 cup of vegetable oil to pan.
  5. Blend onions, ginger, garlic, a scotch bonnet pepper, caraway seeds and 1/2 teaspoon salt with 1/4 cup of water. Add mixture to oil and fry until onions are translucent.
  6. Blend Roma tomatoes, smoked paprika, chili powder, and Maggi with 1/4 cup of water. Add to onion mixture and simmer on medium heat for about 10 minutes.
  7. Add mackerel in tomato sauce, bay leaves, tomato paste, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, curry powder, thyme, and salt to the stew.
  8. Bring mixture to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir every 10 minutes or so to ensure the stew does not burn.
  9. Add chicken to stew. Cook on medium heat for 20 minutes or until chicken has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees.


  • Clean the chicken – Rubbing the chicken with vinegar removes the filmy coating often found on the surface and adds additional flavor.
  • Take your time – A stew simmered low and slow is the secret to delicious West African Chicken Stew.
  • Adjust the seasonings to your liking –  If you like less salt or more spice, change it to suit your tastes.
  • Stir often and use a heavy bottomed pot –  You don’t want the pot to burn on the bottom.
  • Storing Leftovers – West African Chicken Stew can be refrigerated up to 4 days and frozen for up to four months.

Keywords: Stew Recipes, Chicken Recipes, West African Recipes