Brazilian Chicken Stew
© Wendell T. Webber

Brazilian Chicken Stew



  1. 1/3 cup peeled and thinly sliced ginger (3 ounces)
  2. 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  3. 2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
  4. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  5. 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  6. 2 tablespoons water
  7. 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  8. 3 medium onions, coarsely chopped
  9. 2 cups drained canned plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped, juices reserved
  10. 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
  11. 1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts, finely chopped
  12. 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, plus more for garnish
  13. 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  14. 3 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth
  15. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  16. 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  17. Steamed rice and lemon wedges, for serving
  1. In a food processor, pulse the ginger with the garlic, jalapeños, lemon juice and paprika until finely chopped. Add the water and process to a paste.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add the onions and cook over moderate heat until softened, about 8 minutes. Add the ginger paste and cook until it begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add half of the tomatoes along with the coconut milk, peanuts, 1/4 cup of the shredded coconut and 2 tablespoons of the cilantro and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Scrape the sauce into a food processor or blender and puree. Return the sauce to the saucepan. Add the stock and the remaining tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of cilantro and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and simmer over moderate heat until reduced to 5 cups, about 20 minutes. Keep warm.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil until shimmering. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and sauté over moderately high heat until golden and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the chicken; season with salt and pepper. Spoon into bowls and garnish with coconut and cilantro. Serve with steamed rice and lemon wedges.