A couple things to note when making this dish:
- Tomatoes– You can use fresh or tinned tomatoes. In this recipe I used both. A lot of people don’t like the way tinned tomatoes taste so they only use fresh. If you use fresh tomatoes you’re going to need to use tomato paste so that you can really get that tomato flavor and red color. I include tomato paste anyway
- Chicken, Beef, etc.– For this recipe I am only using chicken, and I cook the chicken BEFORE it goes into the stew. I never put raw meat or chicken to cook into the stew, and while I suppose you can more flavor goes into the stew when you cook it beforehand. I like to season my chicken pieces, fry it in oil until it turns golden brown, and then finish cooking it in the oven. I also won’t add the chicken until about 10-15 minutes before the stew finishes cooking that way the chicken doesn’t melt, or fall a part in the stew. You want intact pieces of meat or chicken.
- It is super important to cook or fry the tomato mixture until it’s reduced in more than half of it’s size and is a deep red color because you want to make sure you get rid of the bitterness of the tomatoes. If you don’t fry the mixture long enough you’ll get a sour taste. A good way to know it;s ready is when the color is a deep red and the oil rises back up over the mixture.
- For the Stew
- ¼-1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 3 pounds chicken cut in pieces
- 4 roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1 28 oz can whole peeled plum tomatoes, discard the liquid
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 2 habanero peppers
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 1 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 Tablespoon Nigerian red pepper (or Cameroonian red pepper) **
- 1 teaspoon Accent
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- water as needed
- For the Chicken
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- Wash and cut chicken into bite-sized cubes or pieces.
- Place in a pot and add water, thyme, chicken bouillon cube, salt and black pepper to taste. Cook the chicken until done and then fry until golden brown. Place the chicken on a rack and cook in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Set aside.
- Blend the tomatoes, habanero peppers, bell peppers in a blender until pureed.
- In a large pot heat up the vegetable oil and add the sliced onions frying just until the turn golden brown.
- Add the tomato mixture and fry for about 25 minutes until the mixture reduces in size, turns a deep red, and the oil begins to separate from the tomatoes. Stir continuously to prevent burning at the bottom. Add the tomato paste and fry for an additional 5 minutes.
- Add the chicken stock and seasonings (dried thyme, red pepper, accent, bouillon cube, and bay leaf).
- Stir together, and add more water if needed. Continue to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Serve with rice, beans, or anything of your choice.