Stewed Chicken Recipe: A Comfort Food Classic

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October ’22 update: I used to make this recipe regularly ten years ago when my teenagers were small. I’ve been meaning to make it again for years. I finally got around to it tonight, and they were circling the kitchen like vultures, with no memory of when I used to make it before. “What is this? It smells amazing!” I won’t let ten years pass again. It’s going back into the rotation.

This recipe for stewed chicken is a frequent request and a great use for those giant bags of leg quarters.

Stewed Chicken Recipe

Stewed chicken over rice to the left of collard greens in a white bowl on a black background

Leg quarters on sale are a mixed blessing. I’m not a huge fan of dark meat, but with the right seasoning, I can be persuaded. My usual go-to is a recipe for garlic and soy chicken thighs, but now -when the weather is cooler- I’ll be reaching for stewed chicken.

Can you blame me?

The recipe uses the braising technique, which produces a very tender chicken dish.

Please don’t be intimidated by the number of ingredients. Almost all of them are spices.

*Notes* The 3 – 5 chicken parts can include a mix of dark and white meat, a whole chicken cut up, etc. It is important to note that this recipe requires bone-in chicken. I double the recipe toย accommodateย 10 lbs of leg quarters, which I stew in two pots. The extra sauce was welcome. This recipe can also be converted to a slow cooker, but this doesn’t eliminate a lot of steps.

Food safety note:
For those who may be worried about using the marinade… The difference between this recipe and a recipe where the marinade must be discarded is important. The sauce here is FULLY cooked. This is entirely different than brushing cooked chicken with a sauce raw chicken has touched after the meat has been cooked. Additionally, this is refrigerated the entire time and, other than the few minutes of preparation, is never stored outside of safe temperature zones.

And yes, when I updated the picture, I put the knife on the wrong side of the fork. You won’t need the knife.

Stewed Chicken

Stewed chicken over rice to the left of collard greens in a white bowl on a black background

Southern comfort food perfect for cool weather. A warming, filling, budget-friendly recipe.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Additional Time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours 50 minutes


  • 3 - 5 pounds of chicken parts
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 4 green onions
  • 1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 3 TBSP ground cumin
  • 3 TBSP curry powder
  • 1 TBSP total of the following herbs - a pinch of each- oregano, thyme, rosemary, black pepper
  • 2 TBSP garlic powder*
  • 2 TBSP onion powder
  • 1/3 cup + 3 TBSP olive oil
  • 5 TBSP sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine: lemon juice, green onions, diced tomatoes, thinly sliced onions, ketchup, vinegar, cumin, curry powder,, oregano, thyme, rosemary, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder in a bowl and stir well to combine.
  2. Place the chicken pieces in either a shallow dish or a large zippered bag and ensure the chicken is well-coated with the marinade.
  3. Place in the refrigerator and allow to marinate for at least 3 hours
  4. In a large, heavy pot, combine the 1/3 cup olive oil and 5 TBSP sugar and place over medium heat.
  5. While the oil is heating, Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and find a second dish to serve as a place to hold the chicken temporarily.
  6. Use tongs to remove the chicken from the marinade a few pieces at a time. Brown in the oil for 2 minutes on each side and set aside.
  7. Once each piece has been browned, return all the chicken to the pot, pour the marinade over the chicken and cover.
  8. Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for one to one and a half hours until the meat is slipping from the bones.
  9. Serve over rice with your favorite vegetable

Stewed Chicken Marinating

Stewed Chicken Browning

Stewed Chicken: Comfort Food Classic
the original pictures, you don’t see these
Stewed Chicken Spice Mix
Stewed Chicken
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33 thoughts on “Stewed Chicken Recipe: A Comfort Food Classic”

  1. This is awesome! My dad made a version of this for me growing up, and we called it Indian Chicken (he is from India, after all!). But since he never measured anything, the recipe lost it's pizzaz during the years I didn't live at home, because he wasn't making it as often! I'm really hoping this reminds me of the good old days!!!

    • Unlike Alice, you may want to crank up the curry a bit. The dish has a very warm, deep, and comforting flavor, but it's not particularly spicy, if that's what you are after, go ahead and add a bit of cayenne or other hot pepper to invoke that sensation / flavor.

  2. This looks lovely – and has such delicious flavourings in it. I might have to use chicken breasts as I really can't persuade my family to eat chicken legs and thighs (believe me I've tried!) and just cook them for slightly less time – but wow, that recipe sounds good!

    • If you do substitute with chicken breasts, use split chicken breasts instead of their boneless / skinless counterparts. While BSCB are exceptionally easy, they won't bring the depth of flavor that cooking on the bone can. Good luck and I hope you enjoy it.

  3. Tried it but the sugar stuck to the bottom of the pot (only had a thin one) and I didn't know what 'sauce' they were talking about in the receipe. Maybe someone could let me know which sauce they mean? Thanks.

    • A thin bottomed pan would add a degree of difficulty, it's hard with thin pan to find that balance between. Sauce = marinade and I will clarify that in the recipe, thank you for the comment.

  4. I have a yummy recipe that uses brown sugar, prunes, olives, capers, white wine and oregano. I call it Mediterranean chicken. Yummy! My little guy even likes it!

  5. we do chicken Cacciatore and polenta (the polenta is layered with munster cheese in my family for extra yum) although many prefer having pasta instead of polenta.

  6. I’m starting to lean toward chicken country captain, something I’ve been meaning to get on the site forever. It’s close to the stewed chicken so it might satisfy the craving I have. . .

  7. Ever do creamed chicken? It’s one of my family’s favorites. I have a recipe but I almost never look at it and just kinda wing it instead. Great over mashed potatoes, rice, corn bread, toast, biscuits, etc. Of course, you have to start with already-cooked chicken.

  8. My new chic recipe is….line a baking sheet with foil. Brush chic with olive oil, sprinkle with a ton of garlic powder. Bake on 400 for 40mins. Mix equal parts of teriyaki sauce and any kind of BBQ sauce and brush on chic. Bake again for 20, rebaste and flip. Bake 20 more. I have done with wings and full bone in chic breasts. Its so good!

  9. Marinate chicken in CPCo’s pickle juice for two hours. Remove excess juice, add sauteed onions & bacon. Add tomatoes, fresh parsley, whole garlic, cherry tomatoes, sliced mushrooms, quartered red bliss potatoes & black pepper. Cook at 375 for approximately 35-40 minutes, check temperature and enjoy. If you can’t get to it today, let sit overnight in pickle juice and get it tomorrow!

  10. I put in an extra jalapeno for some kick and it was great, though next time I would add three instead of one! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the recipe! ๐Ÿ™‚


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