With a deliciously spicy, nutty, coconut and tomato sauce, this Brazilian chicken stew is the perfect comfort food meal! Easy to make and delicious reheated the next day, it makes a great midweek meal, especially if you love spicy chicken recipes.
When I first developed this Brazilian chicken stew recipe, I didn't know much about Brazilian food. After all, I'd never been to Brazil. The nearest I'd got to South America was Mexico! And a couple of Brazilian restaurants in London.
The most well known Brazilian stew is feijoada. It's a meaty spicy black bean stew and it is so tasty. However, I wanted to try something a little less well known. I love peanuts in curries and stir fries and especially dry roasted ones. They are so addictive I find it hard to stop myself eating them!
As I had recently had a coconut and peanut chicken stew in a Brazilian restaurant, I decided to recreate it at home.
It was a good choice. This Brazilian style chicken stew recipe is so tasty! The sauce has all the Brazilian flavours in I love and I found myself trying to eat every last trace of sauce on the plate. I knew it was a keeper!
What ingredients do you need for Brazilian chicken stew?
To make this Brazilian chicken stew you'll need:
- Cooking oil - I usually use light olive oil but any cooking oil will work inclucing coconut oil.
- Onion - I usually use a large brown onion but red onions also work.
- Garlic - Fresh garlic if possible but you can use a garlic puree to make life easier.
- Green chilli peppers - I usually add three but it does depend on how hot they are and your family's tastes. If you get them from the supermarket always check their heat before using them as they can vary such a lot!
- Paprika - This is the man spice in this chicken stew and adds a lovely flavour.
- Root ginger - Like with the garlic I prefer to use fresh root ginger but you can replace it with ground ginger or lazy ginger.
- Tinned chopped tomatoes - If you don't have tinned tomatoes you can replace them with diced fresh tomatoes and a little tomato puree.
- Coconut milk - Light or full fat are fine.
- Dry roasted peanuts - These add so much flavour. However, if you don't have them use raw peanuts and a little salt instead.
- Dessicated coconut
- Fresh coriander (cilantro)
- Chicken - You can use diced breast or thighs
- Chicken stock cube - This is to add a little extra flavour and can't be replaced with stock as the sauce would then have too much liquid.
How to make Brazilian chicken stew
To make this Brazilian chicken stew first cook the onion gently in a large saucepan.
While it is cooking, put the garlic, chillies, ginger and paprika into a small food processor and blitz to a paste. You may need to add a drop of water. Then add this paste to the pan with the onions and continue to cook gently.
Add the diced chicken and seal on all sides.
Put all the other ingredients (except the lemon and coriander) into a blender or the large bowl of a food processor and blitz. Pour this sauce into the pan with the chicken. Simmer for 20 minutes until the chicken is cooked.
Serve with the chopped coriander on top and with the lemon wedges to squeeze on top.
Can you adapt this Brazilian chicken stew?
You can certainly adapt the recipe. If you don't like your food to be too hot then don't add as many chilli peppers. Alternatively you can just remove the seeds. I often do this so the children will eat our meals too and then have a little bowl of freshly sliced chilli peppers on the table so the rest of us can help ourselves.
You can also add a few vegetables to make it healthier. Sliced peppers work well. Or you can just stir fry some veggies to serve on the side.
Can you make a vegetarian version?
Yes, if you don't eat meat or just want a tasty vegetarian Brazilian stew, you can replace the chicken with extra vegetables. Aubergines are great at soaking up the flavours and sweet potatoes also work really well.
What can you serve with this spicy chicken stew?
I love to eat this with rice as it goes so well with all the sauce. Sometimes I make this light and fresh lime and coriander rice to go with it.
It's also great with flatbreads.
Why not add a few tasty toppings too?
I like to add lots of fresh chopped coriander(cilantro), lime wedges and extra dry roasted peanuts. Diced avocado is also great as a topping.
Storing and reheating
Any leftover Brazilian chicken stew can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat until pipin hot either in the microwave or in a small saucepan.
Can you freeze it?
Yes, you can also store leftovers in the freezer for up to three months. I usually freeze in individual containers so it is easy to defrost and reheat.
Ideally, defrost in the fridge overnight and then reheat in the microwave or in a saucepan.
More Spicy Chicken Recipes
My family and I love spicy chicken recipes, especially stews and casseroles. If you're the same, why not try one of these:
And if you're just looking for spicy midweek meals then try my easy midweek spicy meals guide.
Brazilian Chicken Stew
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 large onion chopped
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 small green chilli peppers
- 1 ½ teaspoon paprika
- 15 g root ginger
- 400 g chopped tomatoes tinned
- 200 ml coconut milk
- 2 tablespoon dry roasted peanuts crushed a little
- 1 tablespoon dessicated coconut
- 500 g chicken
- 1 chicken stock cube
- ½ lemon juiced
- 1 tablespoon Coriander leaf
- Cook the onion gently in a saucepan with a little olive oil for about 10 minutes.
- Put the garlic, chillies, paprika and ginger into the food processor and blitz. Then add to the pan with the onion and continue to cook for a few more minutes.
- Put the chicken into the pan and seal on all sides
- Put the tomatoes, coconut milk, peanuts and dessicated coconut into a blender or food processor. Blitz until smooth.
- Add the sauce to the pan. Crumble the stock cube on top and stir to dissolve. Simmer for about 20 minutes as the sauce thickens and reduces.
- When ready add the lemon juice to taste. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with rice, extra lemon wedges and chopped coriander