Classic stew with rice

By 12/05/2015 , , , ,

The special Christmas season is here once again, bringing with it its dry harmathan wind. This was a tell-tale sign for me that Christmas was around the corner, I could smell it in the air and everywhere I went. Christmas for me has always been about food, food and more food! Stew and rice to be precise, it was always the same recipe year in year out at my house and am sure I speak for many people. In my mind I would cook up delicious recipes other than stew with rice only to end up with the same recipe on that special day!

Who hasn't heard that too much of repetitions makes life monotonous?! Having the same stew and rice recipe every Christmas has made it really boring, Even though it is a classic, no one wants to have that any more. So let’s add a bit of creativity! Something new and something borrowed and mix it up for a perfect Christmas lunch. People expect so much more these days and I am going to do just that here on Mariellasmenu.

 So for every week until Christmas, I shall be making exceptional delicacies that can be achieved with minimalist efforts; which can stand as replacements or should I say potential contenders for the predictable stew with rice recipe that is served in most homes, these recipes am sure will impress your families and friends who are coming over for that Christmas lunch or dinner, the secret is just to follow my weekly recipes, pick out two or three and recreate them for your family and friends; then sit tight and watch the smiles on their faces. Well the battle line is drawn!

On the menu today I shall be making the classic Christmas chicken stew just so it stands side by side other dishes that are its contenders. Let’s cook!!


2 fresh chickens
Tomatoes 400g
Red bell peppers 200g
Scotch bonnet peppers 70g
2 large onions
Tomatoes paste 30g
Olive oil (1/2 cup)
Garlic (1 whole bulb) 
Thyme 5g
Curry powder 10g
Seasoning 24g
Salt to taste 5g


1)Prepare all the ingredients first

2) Wash the tomatoes, red bell peppers, scotch bonnet peppers and onions and blend smoothly at the millers or blend until very smooth at home and set aside. Remember to add minimal amount of water that way you won’t have to parboil the tomatoes and pepper blend endlessly and you save big on gas bills.

3) In a clean pot, add in the fresh chicken, sliced onions, half the bulb of garlic (thinly sliced), curry powder, seasoning and salt to taste and allow to steam for 5 minutes. Remember to get that Christmas stew taste and aroma, you have to heavily spice

4) When the chicken has begun releasing its own juices, pour in about 3 cups of water to make stock that will go into the stew later on. Parboil for another 8 minutes or until the chicken is tender, drain the stock from the chicken and set aside for later use

5) Grease your oven tray with olive oil lightly and place the parboiled chicken one after the other on the tray and grill for 35 minutes at gas mark 240, am telling you when the chicken comes out of the oven it will be as crispy as ever!

Cooks tip: Now if you grill your chicken rather than fry it; you not only cut out the fat content that originally would have gone in the stew, you also save some money in your pocket by saving some of the oil for later use!

6) Once the chicken is ready, take a clean pot and add in half a cup of olive oil. Please feel free to use any oil of your preference, it doesn't have to be olive oil, allow to heat for two minutes then add in the rest of the thinly sliced garlic as well as the onions and fry for one minute tossing them around so that the aroma from the garlic is released fully

7) Add in the tomatoes paste and allow to fry for another three minutes or long enough to take the sour taste away

8) Add in the dried thyme and stir.

Cooks tip: it is best not to parboil meat with dried thyme because it has the tendency to make the stock salty, if you are going to use thyme for stews, leave it out of the stock and use it when frying the stew, that way you can control the saltiness of the stock and leave the thyme looking crisp in the stew.    

9) Pour in the fresh tomatoes, peppers and onion blend and fry for 7 minutes, to get that Christmas stew aroma, the stew needs to be really fried


10) Add the stock and allow to boil and mix well with the fried stew, then add in all the grilled chicken and stir, taste for salt, add if necessary and allow to simmer for another three minutes and its ready!


So there you have it, your classic Christmas chicken stew served with rice! Let’s see if the other contenders will beat it hands down or half way. The battle line is drawn! Follow us weekly to find out

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