Chicken stew is a delightful blend of chicken, potatoes, and cassava, bathed in a rich and aromatic sauce, all slowly cooked to achieve a tender texture and unparalleled flavor. Perfect for times when you crave a comforting meal, this stew is a culinary experience that will delight your loved ones and introduce you to the best of Colombian cuisine.
This stew is one of the most common ways to prepare chicken in Colombia, given its simple preparation and easily accessible ingredients.
Stews are not only made with chicken but can also be prepared with other meats, such as beef stew, with the addition of various vegetables, spices, potatoes, bananas, and more, tailored to the cook's preference.
In my household, my mother prepares chicken stew at least twice a month, either with chicken or another type of meat. It's typically served at lunchtime, paired with white rice and a kind of salad.
I've always believed that the secret to a great chicken stew lies in its sauce — it should be well-prepared and flavorful. The dish should leave you wanting more.
Remember, chicken is a low-fat, low-calorie meat that's high in protein. For every 100g of chicken, you get:
- 195 Calories
- 30g of protein
- 7g of fat
- 0g of carbohydrates
How to achieve tender and juicy chicken in the stew?
To get tender and juicy chicken, cook it over medium heat in a pot with water and the pre-made sauce, following the recipe's instructions. Cooking the chicken at medium heat for 20 to 25 minutes will ensure its tenderness and flavor absorption. Also, keep the pot covered during cooking to retain moisture and ensure the chicken remains juicy.
Can I replace cassava with another ingredient in the chicken stew?
Yes, you can! A good substitute is yam, another tuber commonly used in Colombian cuisine. Cut it into medium-sized pieces and add it to the pot with the potatoes.
How to adapt the recipe for vegetarians?
For a vegetarian version, replace the chicken with mushrooms, tofu, or seitan chunks. Use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. The rest of the ingredients and recipe instructions can remain the same.
Best serving method?
Chicken stew is best served hot, accompanied by white rice to soak up its delicious juices. It can also be paired with fried ripe plantains, arepas, or a fresh salad of tomatoes and avocados for a mix of flavors and textures.
Can I prepare the chicken stew in advance and reheat it?
Absolutely! Prepare the chicken stew ahead of time and reheat before serving. Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. To reheat, place it in a pot over medium heat and cook until thoroughly warm. Adjust salt and pepper to taste before serving, if needed.
Tips and Tricks
- Marinate the chicken with salt, pepper, and minced garlic for at least 30 minutes to deepen its flavor.
- If you prefer a thicker stew sauce, add a bit of cornstarch dissolved in cold water at the end of the cooking time and cook a few more minutes until it thickens.
- Cooking the chicken on very high heat, which can result in dry, tough chicken. Ensure you cook at medium heat and keep the pot covered.
- Not adding enough water during cooking, leading the stew to either burn or become too dry. Monitor the water level and add more if needed to maintain moisture and prevent burning.
- Ajiaco Bogotano: A Colombian dish based on broth using chicken, potatoes, and tender corn. It shares ingredients like potatoes and chicken broth with chicken stew but offers a unique culinary experience with other flavors and components.
- Pollo Guisado: This Colombian chicken stew recipe in a tomato and spice sauce shares ingredients like chicken, garlic, tomato, and onion. If you enjoy chicken stew, you'll love this variant.
- Sancocho de Gallina: A traditional Colombian stew made with hen, green plantains, cassava, corn on the cob, potatoes, and carrots. It shares ingredients like potatoes, cassava, and chicken broth but offers a unique culinary experience with other flavors and components.
- 2 tomatoes (finely chopped)
- ½ onion (finely chopped)
- 2 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 chicken bouillon cube
- A pinch of saffron
- ½ cup of water
- 4 pieces of chicken
- 1 tablespoon of oil
- 4 or 5 potatoes (cut into medium chunks)
- 4 pieces of cassava
- 3 cups of water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Blend the tomatoes, onion, garlic, chicken bouillon cube, saffron, and half a cup of water until well combined. Set aside.
- In a pot, add the remaining water and begin cooking the chicken seasoned with salt and pepper. Add cassava, potatoes, and the sauce mixture. (Check the water level regularly; add more if needed. The goal is to have a slightly dry stew without it burning or being too watery.)
- Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.