This popular stew is found in any true Nigerians fridge or freezer at any time! It is a household staple and often what you are told is at home when you innocently ask for a Mcdonalds from your Nigerian parents, on the way home!
Like most Nigerians dishes the ingredients used are the classic combination of plum tomatoes, onion, scotch bonnet and red pepper. These staple ingredients are blended together to form a “stew base”. This base is then fried in sunflower and/or palm oil resulting in the most heavenly floured stew or sauce.
What Meat is Found in Nigerian Stew?
The meats often found in a typical Nigerian Stew are known as assorted meat. Assorted meat for Nigerians is a combination of chicken, goat and cow meat.
Chicken – usually whole chicken cut into pieces with the bone in tact.
Beef – cuts with fat and connective tissue in tact for flavour and texture.
Nigerian’s love spicy food. Most Nigerians put chilli or “pepe” in everything they cook whether it be classic Nigerian food or pasta.
You can of course use less scotch bonnet to suit your palette but a classic Nigerian stew should and usually is super spicy, because we just love spicy food!
What Do I Need?
The ingredients needed for this delicious Nigerian Stew are staples found in every continent. Head to your local supermarket or green grocer and you will be sure to find what you need.
The Stew Base –
Tomatoes – I like to use a variety of tomatoes for a more intense flavour but you can just use plum tomatoes.
Red Peppers – Known in yoruba as “tatashe” will provide some bold peppery sweetness to the stew base.
Brown Onions – I like to use brown onions because of the balance of sweetness and tartness. Some Nigerians like to use the sweeter red onion this also works well.
Scotch Bonnet – Or “ata rodo” is a native chilli to Nigeria. It is fruity, hot and relatively easy to source. You can substitute for Caribbean habaneros.
Stock Cubes – Traditionally the stock cubes used back home are Maggi. I no longer use maggi but use either fresh Homemade Chicken Stock or an organic chicken stock cube like Kallo or Knorr.
Thyme – This popular herb is used a lot in Nigerian cooking.
Curry – Curry powder is another essential spice needed for the delicious stew base.
The Meat –
Whole Chicken – In the UK I would source boiling chicken from an asian butcher. These chicken are old laying hens and so the meat is a lot tougher. It has more flavour and can withstand the long cooking process without completely falling apart, which we don’t want.
Beef – I like to use muscle. This cut of meat is affordable and super tasty. The connective tissue and fat found in this cut provides great flavour and can also withstand the triple cooking process without falling apart.
Nigerians like their meat hard. They tend not to like soft meat often found in European stews like Beef Bourguignon and Coq au Vin. This recipe follows the traditional way to cook Nigerian Stew the way I and Nigerians like it. Let me know how your family cook it in the comments 🙂
Tips & Tricks
This recipe is long to make and requires several pots on the go. One of my best tips is to cook the meat on day 1 and keep in the fridge in ziplock bags overnight and cook the stew on day 2.
Try to find boiling chicken or a capon. You will need good quality chicken that can withstand long cooking processes. Supermarket chicken for a fiver just wont cut it.
Buy your fresh ingredients from an asian or African green grocer for two reasons. To support local businesses and get super authentic and fresh ingredients.
Be sure to use a good blender so your stew base is nice and smooth. I love my blender its the 3 in 1 ninja from Shark. Find the link here.
If you have the time or like me have bottles of Homemade Stock in the freezer be sure to use homemade stock for the recipe for even better flavour.
Or just save the simple stock from the meat cooking and use that!
Nigerian Chicken and Beef Stew Serving Suggestions –
Nigerian Stew is a well loved recipe eaten all over Nigeria. This delicious recipe is usually eaten alongside white rice, usually long grain.
It is also eaten with pounded yam, eba, ground rice and fufu! Let me know in the comments if you want more Nigerian recipes at Chilli & Life.
Did you try this Nigerian Chicken and Beef Stew Recipe?
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