Light Soup

Chicken Stew



Prep time

25 minutes

Cook time

1 hr 20 minutes

A memorable West African stew rich with chicken juice, okra, aubergine and spices.


Chicken stew
1kg chicken things
scotch bonnet chilli, whole
40ml water
125g fresh tomatoes
2 tbsps tomato puree
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp salt
1 red onion, roughly chopped
2 thumb sized pieces ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
green chilli, roughly chopped
5 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 ½ tbsps fresh thyme leaves
1 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp fennel seeds
½ tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp cloves
3 tbsps vegetable oil
1 red onion, quartered
250g  fresh tomatoes, whole
1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped into large pieces
1 aubergine, cut into large chunks
800ml chicken stock
8 okra, whole
handful fresh basil leaves, whole
1.2l boiling water
150ml water (optional


1. Begin with the chicken stew by combining 40ml water, 125g of fresh tomatoes, 1 red onion, ginger, green chilli, garlic, thyme leaves, black pepper, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, salt and cloves in a blender then blitz.

2.Place a large pan over a medium heat and add the vegetable oil. Once hot, add the chicken thighs, scotch bonnet, bay leaves, tomato purée and blended ingredients from step 1. Mix together so that the meat is evenly coated. Cook for 30 minutes with the lid on, stirring and turning the meat regularly.

3. While you wait for the chicken to cook, prepare the broth by placing a second large pan over a medium heat on a separate hob with 1.2 litres of boiling water. Add the quartered red onion, 250g of fresh tomatoes, red bell pepper and chunks of aubergine. Boil for 10 minutes or until the onion and aubergine are soft. Once cooked, strain the vegetables and blend. Press the blended mixture through a sieve into a bowl. Save the juice and discard the pulp, get as much liquid as possible.

4. Prepare the chicken stock. Combine with the vegetable juice from the previous step then carefully pour the mixture into the pan with then chicken and mix together. Raise the heat to a simmer then cook with the lid on for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Add the remaining aubergine and okra to the dish then cook for 20 minutes or until both vegetables are soft.

6. Test the spice level of the dish and add additional water if it is too hot. Finish by adding the fresh basil leaves.

Chef’s tips

This dish can be made with a range of different protein including fish and lamb. If you are using lamb, treat similarly to the chicken instructions but cook until the meat begins to fall apart, this may take longer depending on the cut so be patient. If you are using fish, cut into large chunks and add to the pan at step 5. Fufu is traditionally served with light soup but bread or dumplings also work well.


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