Inside The Recipe Testers Kitchen: Warm & Spicy Chicken Stew

It feels like its been a while since I blogged when in truth it’s only been a week. The past week has been a bit of a whirlwind well more so than usual. Perhaps it’s daylight savings which always takes me a minute to adjust to or perhaps the cold weather that’s finally settling in or it could even quite possibly be that I’m preparing for the fact that this time next week I’ll be readjusting to my new work schedule. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago about the possibility of me going back into a more 9 to 5 work situation and I’m happy to report that as of Monday, November 17th I’ll once again be a cubicle dweller. Sure I’ll miss the flex schedule that I’ve had these past few years but I’ve hit a point where my family and home really needs to come first (its time to not only talk about but truly be about it), there are home renovation projects that need to get started, vacations that need to be planned, two little girls who are constantly in need of new clothes and I need the stability of a steady paycheck to make those things happen. Fortunately I’m working for an organization that I wholeheartedly support, the local university. There is definitely something to be said about working in an environment where the focus is on the betterment of individuals as a whole. I’ll still blog, take on various freelance projects, etc.  If anything this job will allow me the ability to be more selective about the projects that I do take on.

But enough serious stuff let’s talk about today’s recipe.  Cold-weather cooking is truly upon us and last week I had a hankering to make a warm and rich chicken stew.  Basically this recipe is a variation on Moroccan Stew which there are hundreds of recipes for. What makes mine the slightest bit different? Well for one I’m using a combination of various warming spices*, ginger, cinnamon, clove and it gets a slight spicy kick from the addition of a little cayenne pepper.

Processed with VSCOcam with m3 preset

Warm & Spicy Chicken Stew

Serves 4 with leftovers


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs (seasoned with salt & pepper)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ras el hanout
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 15 oz can garbanzo beans (chick peas), rinsed


  1. Warm olive oil over medium-high heat in a dutch oven or large saucepan. Add in the chicken thighs skin side down. Brown the thighs on each side, about 3 minutes per side and remove from the pot.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and cook until onions begin to soften, stirring often.
  3. Add the ginger, cumin, ras el hanout, cayenne pepper and dark brown sugar to the onion mixture.
  4. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and water, bring to a boil than lower the temperature to medium-low to simmer. Add the chicken, sweet potato and garbanzo beans cover the pot and continue to simmer for about 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the sweet potatoes are tender.
  5. Serve over brown rice, couscous or even grits!

P.S. Sorry for the dark photo, most of the photos on this site are taken with my iPhone and I normally do a pretty good job with the editing process but this photo I struggled with. Sure, I have one of those fancy DSLR cameras but sadly it’s just another one of those things I haven’t mastered yet. 

*Warming Spices – a collection of herbs and spices that are known for literally warming the body during the colder months. They bring blood to the surface of the skin, acting as a radiator of sorts. Warming herbs also tend to soothe the stomach, aid digestion, and regulate blood sugar

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