20 Favorite Chicken Stews From Around the World
Tired of hearing, “Chicken again?” That won't happen when you transform your poultry into one of these delicious stew recipes with global flavors.
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Slow Cooker Spanish Chicken Stew from Sweet Peas and Saffron
On a cold day, I want nothing more than a bowl of something cozy, something I can curl my arms around. If I’m feeling under the weather that means soup, but more often it translates into a hearty chicken stew. Tender chicken pieces braised in a flavorful liquid, with vegetables cooked at the same time? It’s hard to beat for simplicity and satisfaction. And considering how differently chicken stews are made all over the world, I’ll never run out of options.
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Tips for making, storing, and reheating chicken stew
Here’s a quick primer on chicken stew basics before you get started cooking
How to make chicken stew
There are as many ways to make chicken stew as there are countries in the world. The traditional American/European method has you brown chicken pieces in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat, in batches if necessary, then remove the chicken so you can sauté aromatics. Return the browned chicken to the pot along with larger chunks of vegetables and chicken broth, canned tomatoes, wine, or other cooking liquid, reduce the heat, and simmer until you’ve got tender chicken and cooked-through vegetables.
How to store chicken stew
Transfer leftover chicken stew into an airtight container and refrigerate. The next day, reheat on the stovetop over low heat or in the oven, in a covered baking dish.
How long does chicken stew last?
Most chicken stew will be safe in the fridge for up to five days, or you can freeze it indefinitely (though the quality will go down after around three months).
How the recipes in this article are organized
I couldn’t decide where to launch our plucky voyage around the globe, so let’s go alphabetically by region, shall we? No matter which recipes you cook, you’re in for a satisfying bowl of comfort food.
African chicken stew recipes
If your spice rack is overflowing like mine is, our first continental stop is going to make you very happy
In North Africa, a cone-shaped clay baking dish called a tagine gently simmers bone-in chicken thighs for hours, letting warm spices permeate each piece. You can achieve a similar result with this slow cooker chicken stew — and you can’t beat the convenience.
Spicy and aromatic, this classic Nigerian dish gets its punch from habanero peppers, which are pretty high up on the Scoville Scale for heat. Time-saving tip: Because you cook the bird and the spicy sauce separately, use leftover cooked chicken.
My husband and I go out for Ethiopian food pretty regularly. My go-to dish is Doro Wot, a braised chicken stew seasoned with berbere, an Ethiopian seasoning mix of chiles, coriander, allspice, cardamom, and other spices. These days you can find it in most well-stocked supermarkets, or just make your own.
Using boneless, skinless chicken breasts means this complex-tasting dish has a cook time of 20 minutes — even adding in the prep time, the total time is well under an hour. With sweet potatoes, tomatoes, and canned beans, it’s a complete meal in a bowl. And a sauce made with fresh ginger, peanut butter, and fresh thyme adds tons of creamy, nutty flavor.
Chicken stew recipes from the Americas
North and South America covers a lot of territory, which means you’ll find a wide variety of ingredients and flavors in these chicken stew recipes
To me, few meals are as gratifying as a large pot of chicken and dumplings. Making it is easy: Sauté chunks of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, add diced veggies and 4 cups chicken broth, and simmer briefly. Stir in some heavy cream, then drop spoonfuls of dumpling dough — nothing but all-purpose flour, baking powder, egg, and milk — on top. Cook another few minutes, and dig in.
Brunswick stew is a classic Southern dish with a disputed history (several states claim it as their own). These days, most versions include chicken, butter beans, and vegetables like corn, bell pepper, tomatoes, and okra. With this recipe, you’ll make it in a Crock Pot — so you can put it together whenever, and have dinner waiting hours later. All you’ll need to do is stir in a cornstarch slurry to thicken the broth. A perfect winter weeknight dinner!
Somewhere between a chicken stew and a chicken soup, Mexican posole is a hearty, warmly spiced mixture that features hominy, specially-treated corn kernels that have a lovely, puffy chewiness. This inauthentic but speedy version is ready in just 20 minutes, thanks to rotisserie chicken. In addition to the avocado, radishes, and cilantro garnishes, I might serve it with crispy tortilla chips.
Ajiaco is a stick-to-your ribs chicken stew made with corn on the cob and potatoes — traditionally an Andean variety called papas criollas. They’re hard to find in the U.S., so you can substitute a combination of Yukon gold, russet, and baby potatoes. Don’t skip the garnishes! Avocado, capers, and sour cream add tons of interesting textures and flavors.
Asian chicken stew recipes
Ingredients like curry powder and paste, soy sauce, and fish sauce enter the picture when you jet over to Asia
If you’ve ever tasted an Indian chicken curry, odds are pretty high it was butter chicken. It’s loaded with spices like chili powder and garam masala, but the heat is tempered by soaked-and-pureed nuts and heavy cream. Pro tip: Make the masala sauce and marinate the chicken ahead of time, and you can have this on the table in about 30 minutes.
Thai curry is very different from Indian curry, which explains why red curry and butter chicken have so little in common. This version is close to a saucy stir-fry, flavored with red curry paste, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, and coconut milk. And it’s ready in less than 20 minutes!
Many Korean dishes are fiery-hot, thanks to chili products like gochujang (paste) and gochujaru (flakes). This chicken stew uses both, along with rice wine, soy sauce, sugar, and other classic Korean touches.
In this Chinese chicken stew, bite-size chunks of chicken get a quick marinade, then they’re cooked in a wok with flavorful ingredients like star anise, cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, and Sichuan peppercorns. It becomes a stew when you add vegetables, soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, and water, and let it simmer. Served over noodles, it’ll knock your socks off.
Chicken stew recipes from the Caribbean
The islands of the Caribbean have culinary influences from all over, which makes their chicken stews particularly interesting
Curries appear in the islands, too. This version provides plenty of enticing flavor, but it’s made entirely with supermarket ingredients like curry powder, coconut milk, soy sauce, brown sugar, and lime juice.
You’ll find brown stew chicken recipes all over the islands, but it’s usually considered a Jamaican dish. It gets its distinctive color and flavor from browning sauce, a caramel-like condiment available in larger grocery stores. (Can’t find it? No problem — the recipe has an easy DIY option.) Marinate the chicken overnight for maximum flavor, and you’ll only have about 30 minutes of work before dinner’s ready.
Two-inch pieces of boneless, skinless chicken breast marinate in lime juice, garlic, and cumin before simmering with vegetables, herbs, white wine, tomatoes, and chicken broth. That initial tangy bath really pays off in flavor.
This Puerto Rican chicken stew gets its distinctive flavor from two popular, widely-available Latin American spice blends — adobo and sazon — as well as the aromatic mixture called sofrito. (I buy all three ready-made, but you can also make your own.)
European chicken stew recipes
Finally, let’s end our journey in Europe, where classic recipes usually call for long, slow braises. Each of these versions speeds things up in one way or another, without sacrificing flavor.
Coq au vin is a rich dish of chicken cooked in red wine. Here, this Instant Pot chicken stew trims the cooking time and the calorie count. All you need is some crusty bread to sop up that sauce and you’re good to go.
“Cacciatore” means “hunter” in Italian — chicken cooked this way is simmered with onions, olive oil, herbs, tomatoes, and wine. Using boneless, skinless chicken thighs cuts back the simmering time considerably. Serve with crusty bread, polenta, pasta, or rice.
Roasted red peppers, smoked paprika, and saffron take this easy Crock Pot recipe straight to Spain. Baby potatoes, carrots, celery, tomatoes, and peas make it a complete meal-in-a-bowl — one with very little prep work.
Hungarian chicken paprikash takes its name — and its signature look and taste — from paprika. This version calls for both sweet and hot to build layers of flavor, but a nice swirl of sour cream at the end keeps it from overpowering the chicken.
Craving more comfort food in your life?
There’s plenty of comforting bowls in your future with these additional soup and stew articles.