Chicken Stew Recipes

Putting together this page on chicken stew recipes reminded me of a line in our Home Economics textbook at school "A stew must smile, never laugh".

I think my Home Economics teacher would have a good laugh if she were to know that, years later, her worst student is now running a cookery web site!

But I did manage to remember the bit about stews, and yes, you do want it to simmer very gently so that the flavours mingle, which brings me to:

Tips for Making Chicken Stew
  • Yes, let it smile and not laugh - gently does it is rewarded with exquisite flavours.

  • Ideally for a good stew you should use a “boiling fowl” that is a big chicken that is at least 12 months old. The most widely sold birds are roasting chickens or broilers and they are 6 to 8 weeks old. The bottom line is, that unless you are able to source a boiling fowl, be careful not to over-cook your chicken stew.

  • Like curries, stews taste better the day after cooking. Re-heat it to just boiling point.

  • The chicken is gently fried before the liquid is added. This is done for a number of reasons:
    • It seals the chicken and prevents the blood from oozing out which makes an unappetising grey scum on the top of the stew.
    • It adds to the flavour of the stew.
    • It adds to the colour of the stew.

  • The chicken can be dusted with flour before it is fried. This adds more colour to the stew and it also thickens the sauce. You will need 25 g (about an ounce) of flour for each 500g (1 pound) of chicken.

  • Optionally the vegetables can also be browned before the liquid is added. This also adds colour and flavour.

  • The liquid added to the stew must ideally be cold and then the temperature should be increased gently up to boiling point.

  • The amount of liquid in a stew is the tricky as the amount of liquid that the vegetables are going to produce varies. As a rule of thumb you need 350 - 500ml (12 fl ounces - 1 pint) of liquid for each 500g (pound) of chicken.

  • If you have to much liquid once the stew is cooked, remove the meat and vegetables with a slotted spoon and reserve, return the saucepan to the heat and reduce the sauce.

  • Likewise, if your chicken stew is done and the sauce is too thin, remove the chicken and vegetables with a slotted spoon and thicken the sauce with some corn flour mixed to a paste with a bit of water.

Quick and Easy Chicken Stew Recipes

These chicken stew recipes use either boneless chicken breasts or chicken thigh fillets.

Hearty Chicken Stew Recipes

Get out the cast iron cookware and rub with oil and a clove of garlic before you start. These recipes are real soul food calling for this small ritual start!

(All these recipes have been tested using broiler chicken, for boiling fowl you might have to increase the cooking times.)

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