Poultry Recipes

Nigerian Chicken Stew

I got this one from another find in the Indiana University Library, a book published in Nigeria called the Nigeria Cookbook. It features some especially helpful pictures and illustrations showing the techniques for more complicated things like steaming in leaves (you won't find those recipes here: remember, I like "easy" best). Speaking of easy: this is even easier in a slow-cooker (if you don't mind the "mushy" affect slow-cooking has on chicken), which is how I usually end up doing it when I'm pressed for time during the work-week. Serves 6-8.

4 lg. tomatoes
1 med. onion
3 small hot peppers or 2 larger peppers like anaheims
, or 1 t. cayenne
Cut up and grind in blender or food processor 'til uniform. Fry in large skillet in 2 T oil (I've reduced this from 1/3 c. oil) 'til sauce cooked down and almost dry, stirring occasionally. In the meantime, start the chicken:

1 (2-3 lb.) chicken, cut up (or 2-3 lbs. chicken pieces)
Preheat a 3-qt. saucepan on med. heat; place the chicken in the pan without any added oil (I know, I didn't believe this the first time I tried it, either--but it works, and makes the sauce extra tasty). Let the meat sizzle, turning the pieces to brown slightly on all sides. Add water to cover w/salt to taste and bring to a boil; reduce heat to med. and cook 15-20 minutes.

2-3 T tomato paste
1 t. dried thyme
2 bay leaves

This may not look African or taste very "exotic", but it really is genuine (trust me). Stir in to the cooked-down tomato sauce & add to chicken, stirring to coat; cook uncovered over med.-low heat 'til chicken tender (15-30 minutes). I often add spinach or other greens in this last stage, to balance out the meal (or you could make a separate greens dish). Serve w/rice.


There are probably as many recipes for peanut chicken in Africa as there are cooks. This version comes from Zimbabwe (southern Africa) via The Africa News Cookbook (I've tinkered with it a little). Serves 4-6.

2 med. onions, finely chopped
Saute 'til golden in 2 T butter in large stew pot over med. heat.

2 cloves garlic, finely sliced and crushed
2 chiles, chopped, or 1/2 t. cayenne
Add w/1/2 t. pepper and up to 1 t. salt and cook, stirring, a few minutes to blend flavors.

2 green bell peppers, chopped (we'd substitute mild peppers like Hungarian wax for Bill, to get past his anti-bell-pepper radar)
1 (2 1/2-3 lb.) chicken, cut up
Add and fry, turning chicken pieces 'til browned on all sides.

3-4 tomatoes, mashed with fork or pureed in blender (or use 1 15 1/2-oz. can tomato puree)
Mix in w/about 2 c. water; reduce heat and simmer 5-10 minutes.

1/2 c. smooth natural peanut butter (you'll hate yourself--and this dish--if you use Jif-style peanut butter, which has lots of added sweeteners and stabilizers)
Mix w/a few spoonfuls of broth from the pot, and then mix in to stew. Let simmer 'til chicken is well cooked (at least 30 minutes).

1/2 lb. spinach or other greens (use pumpkin greens if you can get them from your own or a friend's garden)
Add to stew when chicken done and cook 'til greens lightly done. Serve with rice or nsima.

Cameroonian Peanut Stew

Another treat from Auntie Kate's Cookery Book, which we found in the IU Library. This one's a little more work and takes more pots and burners, but it's probably our favorite of the many just-peanut peanut-chicken recipes we've tried. Serves 8-10.

1 chicken, cut up
Wash and season w/salt and ginger to taste; add 1/4 onion, sliced, and sizzle without added water or oil 'til self-produced liquid is almost gone (trust me: this works). Add water to cover and simmer 'til almost soft (15-20 minutes): you're about to brown it, and then simmer it in sauce, so it doesn't need to cook all the way at this point. Remove chicken, set aside the stock you've just made, and brown the chicken in 1/3 c. oil in a big fryer that will hold the sauce as well as the chicken (watch out for spatters when you add the wet chicken to the oil).

4 lg. tomatoes, peeled if desired
1 lg. onion
2 hot chiles

Slice 1/2 of the onion and 2 of the tomatoes, and fry these sliced ingr. in up to 1/3 c. oil in separate skillet. Grind the rest of the onion and tomatoes w/the chiles in a blender or food processor and add to the skillet, frying 'til light brown. Add salt to taste and then mix sauce into pan with chicken pieces; let simmer while you start the rice or nsima that will accompany the meal.

2 c. roasted peanuts, ground very smooth in blender or food processor; or use 1 c. smooth natural peanut butter
Peanuts that you grind yourself will be moist, but not as thick as peanut butter. It makes a better texture if you grind your own, but it does take more time (I don't usually bother any more). Add the ground peanuts/peanut butter to the vacated skillet you cooked your tomato sauce in, and heat a few minutes to bring out flavor (wait 'til you can smell that wonderful peanut smell coming up from the pan). Gradually stir in the chicken stock you set aside; cook " to a light pouring consistency", stirring constantly, and then stir into chicken pot.

4-6 hard-boiled eggs
6-8 okra
, whole, sliced or chopped for degree of stickiness desired (come on, don't you like okra? heh heh)
Both of these are optional. Add if desired and cook 10-15 minutes more, 'til chicken thoroughly done and all flavors nicely blended. Serve w/rice or nsima or fufu of choice. Feel free to add a simple greens dish and a pot of spicy black-eyed peas, and get really festive w/fried sweet potato slices and fried plantain slices, a.k.a. "dodo" (most big grocery stores carry these big starchy banana cousins these days--you want a green one for dodo or it'll be gross and mushy).

Pakistani Chicken Korma

This scrumptious curry comes from my well-worn Harvey Day paperback that I found in a used bookstore (published in Bombay in 1963!). You'll need to leave time to simmer it well (at least an hour for an American grocery-store chicken).

2 lg. onions, sliced
Fry 'til golden brown in 1/4 c. ghee (clarified butter) or butter (I usually use just 2 T), and set aside.

2 cloves garlic, ground in a mortar or mashed in a bowl w/a fork (or just minced and crushed--or use a garlic press!)
1/2 t. gd. ginger
1 t. ea. gd. coriander, cumin and cayenne
10 peppercorns
5 whole cloves
seeds of 6 cardamom pods
6 small sticks cinnamon

Add and fry a few minutes to blend flavors.

1 (3-lb.) chicken, cut up
Add w/up to 1 t. salt and fry, turning the chicken pieces occasionally 'til browned on all sides.

1 1/4 c. plain yogurt
1 c. water or chicken stock
3 bay leaves
3 blades lemon grass
(avail. dried in specialty shops and well-stocked groceries)
Add w/the onions you set aside, and bring to boil; reduce heat, cover tightly and 1-2 hrs., 'til chicken tender. Stir in juice of one lemon; remove the lemon grass pieces and serve w/rice and chapatis.


Savory Indian chicken with rice, from Harvey Day. "A tasty dish, often served to invalids." I think it's yummy. Serves 4.

1 lg. onion, sliced
Fry in 1/4 c. ghee or butter 'til golden brown.

1 (3-lb.) chicken, washed & cut up
1/2 lb. (1 1/3 c. or so) basmati rice or other fine long-grain rice
1 1/2" ginger root, sliced
12 peppercorns
3-4 bay leaves
1/2 t. garam masala
(Indian spice blend avail. in specialty shops & good groceries)
Add w/water to cover & up to 1 t. salt; simmer slowly 'til chicken is tender & rice a little gooey (1-2 hrs., depending on how gooey you like it).

Chicken Curry with Greens

2 onions, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 (2") stick cinnamon
2 whole cloves
seeds of 2 cardamom pods

Fry in 1/4 c. cooking fat (ghee or mustard oil, if possible).

2 1/4 t. curry paste, avail. in specialty shops; or substitute regular dry curry powder
2 1/4 t. poppy seed or ground almonds--optional, but a nice touch
Mix in well & fry 5 min.

1 (2-3 lb.) chicken, cut up
Add, stirring to coat chicken pieces w/sauce; cover, reduce heat & simmer gently 10-15 min., watching for scorching (add water if necessary).

1 lb. greens (spinach, mustard, turnip, collard, etc.), washed & drained
Add w/salt to taste & continue to simmer 'til chicken is done (abt. another 20-30 min.), mixing occasionally.

Egg Curry

Another treat from Harvey Day--basically eggs poached in a tomato curry sauce. Tamarind gives a tart-sweet kick to the sauce. You can leave out the tamarind if you have to, and you'll still have a nice sauce. Yum!

2 onions, finely chopped
Fry 'til lightly browned.

3 tomatoes, sliced (or 1 tall can tomato puree)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green chiles, minced
1/2 t. ea. coriander, cumin & cayenne
1/4 t. turmeric

Add w/1 c. water & cook over low heat 7-10 min.

1/2 oz. [heaping 2 T] tamarind paste
Tamarind is sold in cakes in specialty shops. You can also get a liquid concentrate that makes this job easier. If using the solid paste: mix w/1/2 c. hot water, breaking up w/spoon. Let soak abt 10 min., then drain thru fine muslin or cheesecloth & discard the residue. If using the liquid concentrate: mix about 2T concentrate w/1/2 c. water. Whichever way you get it, add the tamarind juice to the sauce w/salt to taste.

6 eggs
Break one at a time into sauce & simmer 'til set (abt 10 min.); do not stir.

Feerakh bel tamatem

Egyptian chicken in tomato sauce, adapted from a book called Egyptian Cuisine that we found in the library. This takes a little more doing than some (brown the chicken, set it aside, then put it back in the sauce to simmer), but it's worth it.

1 (3 lb.) chicken, cut up
Brown in 2-3 T oil; remove and set aside.

2 onions, sliced
Saute 'til soft in vacated chicken pan. 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Add and cook, stirring, about one minute; mix in 1 T flour and cook, stirring, 1-2 minutes more.

2 lg. tomatoes, peeled and cut up--OR 1 (8-oz.) can tomato sauce
1 c. chicken stock, broth, or bouillon--or water
2 bay leaves
1/2 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. pepper

Add w/up to 1 t. salt and bring to boil; reduce heat to medium, add the browned chicken pieces and simmer 'til chicken tender, up to 1 hour. Mix in 1 T lemon juice, and serve w/a nice pilaf sprinkled w/sauteed, slivered almonds or pine nuts.

Back to RecipesBack to Abbie's Recipes home

Back to AbbieBack to Abbie's Vanity Page Home

Abbie Anderson
Last updated 4/2/2000