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South African chicken stew, also known as “chicken bredie,” is a traditional dish with deep flavors and influences from Cape Malay cuisine.

South African chicken stew recipe

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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine South African


  • 1.5 kg chicken pieces (such as thighs and drumsticks)

    - 2 tablespoons cooking oil

    - 1 large onion, finely chopped

    - 2 cloves garlic, minced

    - 2 teaspoons ground cumin

    - 2 teaspoons ground coriander

    - 1 teaspoon ground turmeric

    - 1 teaspoon paprika

    - 1 teaspoon dried thyme

    - 1 bay leaf

    - 2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced

    - 2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed

    - 1 can diced tomatoes (400g)

    - 1 cup chicken broth

    - Salt and pepper to taste

    - Fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped (for garnish)


  • In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the cooking oil over medium heat.
    2. Add the chicken pieces to the pot and cook until browned on all sides. Remove the chicken from the pot and set aside.
    3. In the same pot, add the chopped onion and minced garlic. Sauté until the onion becomes translucent and fragrant.
    4. Add the ground cumin, ground coriander, ground turmeric, paprika, dried thyme, and bay leaf to the pot. Stir well to coat the onions and garlic with the spices.
    5. Return the chicken pieces to the pot and mix them with the onion and spice mixture.
    6. Add the sliced carrots, cubed potatoes, diced tomatoes (with their juices), and chicken broth to the pot. Stir to combine all the ingredients.
    7. Bring the stew to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot and let it cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender.
    8. During the cooking process, check the stew occasionally and stir gently to prevent sticking. If needed, add a little more chicken broth or water to adjust the consistency.
    9. Season the stew with salt and pepper according to your taste preferences.
    10. Once the chicken is cooked and the flavors have melded together, remove the bay leaf from the pot.
    11. Serve the South African Chicken Stew hot, garnished with fresh chopped cilantro or parsley. It pairs well with rice, bread, or pap (a traditional South African cornmeal porridge).
    Enjoy this flavorful and hearty South African Chicken Stew!



Here are some notes on South African chicken stew:
1. Ingredients: South African chicken stew typically includes chicken pieces, onions, garlic, tomatoes, spices (such as curry powder, cumin, coriander), potatoes, and sometimes vegetables like carrots or green beans. The exact ingredients may vary based on personal preference and regional variations.
2. Slow-cooked flavors: The stew is often cooked slowly over low heat, allowing the flavors to meld together and the chicken to become tender and infused with the spices. This slow cooking process helps develop rich and robust flavors.
3. Spices and seasonings: The spices used in South African chicken stew provide a delightful blend of aromatic and warming flavors. Common spices include curry powder, turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, and bay leaves. These spices contribute to the distinct taste profile of the dish.
4. Cape Malay influence: South African cuisine has been influenced by various cultures, and the Cape Malay community has had a significant impact on the flavors and cooking techniques of the region. Cape Malay cuisine is known for its rich and fragrant curries, which
have influenced the development of South African chicken stew.
5. Vegetables and starch: Along with the chicken, vegetables like potatoes, carrots, and green beans are often added to the stew. The vegetables contribute texture and additional flavors. South African chicken stew is often served with a starch component such as rice, pap (maize meal), or bread to complete the meal.
6. Variations: Different regions and households may have their own unique twists on chicken stew. Some variations may include additional ingredients like apricots or raisins to add a touch of sweetness, or fresh herbs like cilantro or parsley for added freshness.
7. Comfort food: South African chicken stew is a beloved comfort food, perfect for colder days or family gatherings. It's a hearty and satisfying dish that can be enjoyed with family and friends.
South African chicken stew showcases the diverse culinary heritage of the country and is a testament to the rich flavors and cultural influences found in South African cuisine.


Serving: 100g
Keyword chicken stew
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