Brazilian Chicken Stew


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Brazilian Chicken Stew
Photo: © Wendell T. Webber


  • 1/3 cup peeled and thinly sliced ginger (3 ounces)

  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped

  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil

  • 3 medium onions, coarsely chopped

  • 2 cups drained canned plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped, juices reserved

  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk

  • 1/2 cup dry-roasted peanuts, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut, plus more for garnish

  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish

  • 3 cups chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth

  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

  • 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.

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