Indian Chicken Stew

Total Shares 159

Argghhh, this is one of those dishes that is so freaking good, however the current picture doesn’t do it justice. Next time I make it, I am going to snap some new pictures and quietly update it so if you come back to print the recipe, don’t get freaked out if there is a new {and better} picture.

My husband loves stews– chicken, beef and fish stews count among his favorites. He’s not really one for cooking but a couple of months ago he made a Brazilian Fish Stew from Saveur Magazine, which was unbelievable, and has been asking for me to make another interesting stew ever since.

Good thing I had this Braised Bone-In Chicken Thighs with Indian Flavors recipe from the The New York Times tucked away from last year. My recipe is quite different from theirs but I was truly inspired by it.

It comes together really fast and is a new favorite around here. My toddler taste-tested the sauce and said, “Ohhhhhh, Yum!” and my husband said, “What do I need to do to make this a weekly staple?”

I served it with this Spiced Coconut Rice and some quickly seared greens but this Punjabi Cabbage or Indian-Spiced Whole Roasted Cauliflower would also be fantastic side dishes.


  • FYI: I showed a box of organic broth in the prep picture but didn’t actually use it.
  • If you don’t want to use light coconut milk, use 3/4 cup of whole fat coconut milk and 3/4 cup of water or broth.

Inspired By: Braised Chicken Thighs with Indian Flavors, March 28th, 2011 – The New York Times

4.8 from 5 reviews
Indian Chicken Stew
9 Points Plus Per Serving -- Individual Serving is 1 Cup -- Serves 4
Serves: 4
  • 1 tablespoon safflower oil or coconut oil
  • 8 medium cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 small jalapeno, chopped
  • 2" piece fresh ginger root, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed of any visible fat
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 14.5-ounce can (1.5 cups) light coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  1. Prep garlic, ginger, jalapeno and onion for chopping.
  2. I used the food processor to save time. First, I put in the garlic, peeled ginger and jalapeno (all cut into chunks. Pulse a couple times until just chopped and then add in onion sections. Pulse a couple times.
  3. Trim chicken thighs of any visible fat and set aside. Measure spices into a small dish.
  4. Heat a heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven (or soup pot if that is all you have) over medium high heat. Add oil and once hot, add onion and garlic mixture. Cook 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft.
  5. Add in trimmed chicken thighs and cook for another 5 minutes or so until they begin to brown, flipping once.Now, add in the spice mixture and cook for 1 minute until fragrant, stirring to coat the chicken.
  6. Pour in coconut milk and fish sacue and bring to a boil. Immediately cover, lower to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove chicken thighs to a cutting board and cube into 1" pieces, set aside. Meanwhile, turn up the light under the coconut milk sauce until it is boiling.
  8. Slightly lower the light, keeping a nice strong simmer and reduce sauce for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Add chicken back to sauce, remove from heat, toss in cilantro and stir.
  9. Serve hot over rice or with Naan and Enjoy!


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  1. Tami says

    Oh I loved this recipe. I’m new to the lifestyle however it didn’t take long to get bored, Maven you’re a gift, thank you. Recipes like this solved the problem. Made for a great lunch the next day as well.

  2. Ann says

    This was dinner last night with the spiced coconut rice. The meal was outstanding! I served it with a side of steamed cauliflower. Thanks so much for this. It’s going to be one of my favorites.

  3. Scott says

    Excellent meal over rice! Seemed a little higher in points than we wanted per serving (no veggies Alyssa!?) so I just added some fresh cauliflower chunks (one head) at step 7 and it turned out great. I may try doubling everything, including the cauliflower, but except the chicken next time, and see how it turns out. (Oh and I didn’t have cardamom so I did half nutmeg and half garam masala. I’ll use cardamom next time).

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Scott! Glad you liked it!! For this one, I prefer the veggies on the side so the sauce stays nice and thick on the chicken but I love that added cauliflower to it. Hope you are doing well :)

  4. Jody T says

    When do you put in the fish sauce? I made this last night and decided to omit it because it was smelling so good. Turned out great and my picky 2 year old loved it!

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Jody! So glad you loved it and your toddler :) I just updated the recipe – thanks for catching that. The fish sauce should go in at the same time as the coconut milk. Have a great day!

  5. Sarah Schaffer says

    Amazing dish! If you have a member of the family opposed or allergic to coconut milk, you can sub 1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth, add 1 heaping tsp raw sugar and omit the kosher salt. The dish does need some sweetness to it. I cook an Indian dish on a weekly basis, and my hubby says this is the best I’ve ever made :) served with jasmine rice and a side of the Punjabi cabbage and chickpeas

  6. Eha says

    Sugar, I have always tried not to be a ‘food snob’ and now I am almost wondering :) ! What a delightufl recipe I’ll most certainly try, but the word ‘stew’ is one SO boring – surely this is ‘xyz’ from ‘xyz’ :) ! ? Indian regioanl cooking is such an exciting one!!!!

    • EverydayMaven says

      LOL! Well, after you make it, come back and tell me what you would name it. Anything with Stew always pleases the Mr. but I hear you!

  7. says

    I like Indian anything, and this looks wonderful – some great flavors here! I definitely have to try this. Really like the bowl in the picture (and the picture itself is OK – that ‘s a difficult subject). Anyway, thanks for this.
    kitchenriffs recently posted..Microwave PopcornMy Profile

    • EverydayMaven says

      True, true. I am sure I will be making this over and over again if my husband has any say 😉 so I will have plenty of opportunity for a new pic.

  8. Ellen says

    How could this be modified to make in a crock pot or slow cooker instead of stove top? Would it be possible? Looks incredible but I get home so late that to start this when I get home we wouldn’t eat until 9 which is too late. Any ideas?

    • EverydayMaven says

      Hi Ellen,
      I was thinking about the slow cooker for this but since you have to change the heat (up and down) a few times, I am not sure it would work so great. Also, it would be very difficult to get the sauce thick or reduced in the slow cooker. This reheats great, could you make it the day/night before and just reheat? Have a great day :)

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