Arabian Chicken Stew is a popular dish in the Arabian Gulf Countries. The stew has tender chicken, potatoes and carrots, warm earthy spices like cumin, coriander, and black pepper; the blend of spices brings out the unique flavor Arabian dishes are known for. I won’t be exaggerating if I say that every Arab house must make it one time a week every week. In my house, it’s our favorite stew beside the Jamaican Brown Stew Chicken. You can use any chicken part in this stew, and it will taste oh-so-good!
The sauce can be thick or thin (I explain how to get both consistencies in this post)— it’s a healthy chicken stew with plenty of protein and good carbs. I have gone another step and made it low in calories too! Enjoy this stew with Pita Bread or plain white rice. Please watch the video tutorial in this post and read the tips below.
Healthy Chicken Stew Recipe
Usually, the Arabian chicken stew is made of whole chicken cut in medium size pieces. It is cooked with the skin on because it adds an excellent taste to the stew, but the way we cook this stew is by removing the chicken skin, and we depend on the chicken bone and the spices to bring out great unique flavor.
Arabian Chicken Stew is one of the dishes cooked regularly in Ramadan (Muslims around the world fast in the holy month of Ramadan). Arabs cook the chicken stew more than often since it’s a part of another dish called (Thareed).
Thareed is a mixture of stew and Arabic thin crispy bread called Reqaq.
Replacing Ghee with oil is another step toward making a hearty dish. Despite the changes I made, you wouldn’t make out the difference between the version I am sharing today and the Authentic recipe of Arabian Chicken Stew. So, rest assured that your dinner is going to taste great!
Don’t be surprised if the chicken stew tastes different in each Arabian Gulf Country. If you had chicken stew in Kuwait or Bahrain, you would notice that it’s a little on the spicy side. Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates use dry lemon in the chicken stew and add zucchini.
Ingredients you need to make Arabian Chicken Stew
Skinless Chicken. Use a whole chicken cut in medium-size pieces or a mixture of chicken thighs and legs.
A mix of spices (Spice list in the recipe card below).
Coriander leaves (optional. Please read note #2).
How to Make Chicken Stew
Making Arabian Chicken Stew is simple; you will cook everything in one pot. Please read the tips below if you want to use chicken breast. I have used chicken thighs, and sometimes I mix chicken thighs with chicken legs; I feel that these cuts can take a long time of cooking without turning dry.
1- In a large pot, add the oil and when it’s hot, add the onion and fry until light brown.
2- Place the chicken thighs bone side facing up, let the chicken brown, then turn the chicken.
3- The potato and the carrot go next, mix.
4- Add the chopped tomatoes and minced garlic, mix well.
5- Now add the spices and mix for a minute on medium-low. Add in the zucchini.
6- After adding the tomato paste, mix the ingredients then pour the boiling water. Let the stew cook for 20 or 40 minutes; it will mainly depend on how much water you have decided to use (How to thicken the stew in the tips below). It is optional to add the chopped coriander at the end and cook it for one minute.
Now you can see how easy it is to make this chicken stew!
Tips to make a great Arabian Chicken Stew
- The stew will cook for 20 minutes or longer. Hence, it’s best to use a russet potato.
- Wash the chicken properly and pat it dry before adding it to the recipe. I have explained a few ways to clean the chicken in this post.
- You can add more vegetables to this stew-like, green beans, cauliflower, celery, and onion pearls.
- You can use olive oil.
- Do not skip on browning the chicken.
- Add 5 cups of water to the stew if you want a thick gravy. Add 8 cups of water to make it more like a soup texture. In Arab countries, they pour the stew over rice, and they like the stew to have a soup-like consistency.
- If you wish, you can use Chicken stock or stew in this recipe. Add half the amount of water mentioned in this recipe and substitute the other half with chicken stock.
How to store Chicken Stew?
Place what is left from the stew in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to three days.
If you want to freeze the stew, place every serving in a different freezer-friendly plastic container.
To thaw the frozen stew, place it in the fridge overnight. Later pour the stew into a pan, and heat in a microwave or on a stovetop.
More Stew Recipes
I have published this post in 2014. I have now updated this post with more text and a new video.
Arabian Chicken Stew
- 450 gm skinless chicken thighs
- 450 gm skinless chicken legs
- Or 900gm skinless chicken cut into eight pieces
- 2 large tomatoes finely chopped
- 2 medium zucchini diced
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 large potato diced
- 1 large carrot diced
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
- Salt to taste
- 8 cups boiling water Use 5 cups for thick stew.
- In a hot pan, add oil, when hot add the chopped onion, cook until the onion turns light brown.
- Add the chicken bone facing up and cook on medium heat until light brown. Flip and cook the other side.
- Add the potatoes and carrot and stir for three minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, stir for three minutes, then cover the pan and let it cook on medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes. (Do check on it so it doesn't burn since the heat of different stoves varies and my medium heat might be high on your stove.)
- Add the garlic and spices and stir to combine.
- Add the zucchini and tomato paste and stir for two minutes.
- Now is the time to season with salt, then pour the boiling water and let the stew cook for 20 – 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked. Turn off the heat and cover the stew for 15 minutes before serving.
- Add the coriander and stir for three minutes.
- Serve hot with rice or bread.
- To use chicken breast in this stew, add oil to a hot pan, season the chicken breast with salt and black pepper. Sear the chicken breast from both sides on medium-high heat. Remove the chicken breast, cover, and keep aside. Add the chicken breast after adding the zucchini and continue cooking. This way, the chicken breast won’t go dry.
- Not everyone is fond of coriander; I suggest that you use around a tablespoon of chopped coriander and then taste the stew. You can also skip the coriander; the chicken stew will taste good without it too!