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Kedjenou Chicken

KedjenouLittle to no liquid is added to our authentic kedjenou recipe, so the chicken slowly braises in its juices. Like our Sudado de Pollo, the chicken stew is left untouched, so the meat slowly cooks with spices, vegetables, and flavorful aromatics for a highly concentrated and savory stew you’ll love.

I must give credit where credit is due; this recipe would not exist if not for a sweet lady at a farmers market in Colorado. I was drawn to her table laden with spice blends. We sampled many of them. However, I was blown away by a spice labeled kedjenou.


After a brief description of the dish and shared goodbyes, down the rabbit hole, I went. Before the end of the night, I attempted to learn everything there was to know about kedjenou. And while I’ll never be able to recreate the same incredible flavor she had in that little spice packet, I honor her with this recipe.

WHAT IS KEDJENOU?

Kedjenou chicken stew traditionally cooks in a clay pot called a canary or canari over an open flame. Basting inside a sealed canary allows the chicken to simmer with the flavor from the spices, vegetables, herbs, and the chicken itself.

Kedjenou originates from a smaller ethnic group from the Ivory Coast called Baoulé. The word kedjenou (KED-gen-ooh) means to ‘move or shake’ and refers to the practice of shaking the canary side to side throughout the cooking process to prevent sticking or burning inside the sealed clay pot. I don’t have access to a canary, though I wish I did because it sounds like it would be fun to cook this way. For most kitchens, a Dutch oven will suffice, and you better believe I take every opportunity to shake the dutch oven back and forth in the cooking process because why not!

WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THE RECIPE

  • Chicken: Use bone-in and skin-on thighs, legs, or a combination. You can also break down a whole chicken and use that. You may be tempted to remove the skin or make this recipe with boneless chicken, but don’t. I can’t, in good conscience, let you miss out on all that flavor and depth.
  • Kedjenou Seasoning: Like all good spice blends, kedjenou seasoning varies from home to home and kitchen to kitchen; this recipe contains the combination of spices we use.
  • Vegetables: I love the combination of tomatoes, onions, green bell peppers, garlic, carrot, and eggplant.
  • Ginger Paste: Ginger paste flavors the stew and highlights other ingredients.
  • Maggi: I use Maggi and water in place of stock for this recipe. It’s flavorful, easy, and something I always keep in my pantry. I must admit that when I originally made this recipe for my friends who are from the Ivory Coast, I used another brand of bouillon, and they immediately noticed. Maggi is the way to go!
  • Bay Leaves: Bay leaves subtly flavor the stew.
  • Thyme Sprigs: Fresh thyme provides earthy sweetness.

HOW TO MAKE KEDJENOU

Preheat the oven to 350° F (176° C). Then, add the ingredients for the kedjenou seasoning to a small bowl and stir to incorporate.

Our taco seasoning recipe stored in an air-tight container.

Toss the chicken with three tablespoons of seasoning in a mixing bowl and set it aside to marinate for 30 minutes.

Before frying, the chicken is coated with kedjenou de poulet seasoning.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat, then add the chicken thighs; saute skin-side down for 3-4 minutes.

I fry the chicken in a dutch oven before adding the remaining ingredients for kedjenou de poulet.

Add tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, garlic, ginger paste, carrots, eggplant, and the remaining kedjenou seasoning to the pot. Cook for 2-3 minutes until it becomes aromatic.

A signature of kedjenou de poulet, a variety of vegetables are added to the Dutch oven for maximum flavor.

Stir in water, Maggi, bay leaves, and thyme. Nestle the scotch bonnets into the liquid if using them, and cover the pot with aluminum foil, followed by the lid.

Herbs and remaining ingredients for kedjenou de poulet are added to the Dutch oven to braise.

Cook for 1 hour and remove the Dutch oven to shake it back and forth 2-3 times during the cooking process.

Kedjenou cooking in a Dutch oven wrapped in aluminium foil to seal in all of the moisture and flavor.

Remove the stew from the oven, and place it in a serving dish. Eat as is, over a bed of rice, or with traditional attiéké.

A chicken thigh served with the kedjenou vegetables.

SEARCHING FOR MORE LIKE THIS? 

If you love this recipe, try one of our other soup and stew favorites!

SERVING SUGGESTIONS 

  • Rice
  • Attiéké (Fermented Cassava)
  • Yucca
  • Fufu
  • Yams
  • Peanuts

WHAT TO DO WITH THE LEFTOVERS

  • FRIDGE – Store the leftovers in an airtight container; they will keep for 3 to 4 days.
  • FREEZER – Allow the dish to cool. Then, add it to a freezer-safe container or bag. Kedjenou freezes for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to eat, defrost it in the fridge overnight.
  • REHEAT – Warm leftovers on the stovetop to serve and enjoy!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What variations of kedjenou can I try?

Chicken is the most common way to prepare kedjenou, but you could make this same recipe with beef, lamb, goat, fish, and other seafood. Feel free to experiment with the vegetables; I use tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, and eggplant; carrots, green onions, potatoes, and okra also work well in the stew. Ivorian food is known for being SPICY! Feel free to add habaneros or a traditional scotch bonnet for more heat.

YOU SHOULD ALSO TRY:

A Dutch oven full of kedjenou chicken.

Kedjenou Chicken

Tressa Jamil
Kedjenou chicken is widely popular in the Cote D'Ivoire, a place known for its savory, slow-cooked stews; ours bastes in kedjenou seasoning, vegetables, and flavorful aromatics.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 10 mins
Total Time 1 hr 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine African, Ivorian
Servings 6 bowls
Calories 347 kcal

Equipment

Ingredients
  

For the Stew:

  • 2 pounds chicken thighs and legs, bone-in and skin-on
  • ½ cup kedjenou spice, divided
  • 5 large tomatoes, diced
  • 2 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • ½ eggplant, cubed, 1-inch pieces
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cube Maggi
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6-7 thyme sprigs

For the Kedjenou Seasoning:

  • 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon, ground
  • 2 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper, coarse ground

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F (176° C). Then, add the ingredients for the kedjenou seasoning to a small bowl and stir to incorporate.
  • Toss the chicken with three tablespoons of seasoning in a mixing bowl and set it aside to marinate for 30 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat, then add the chicken thighs; saute skin-side down for 3-4 minutes. You may have to work in batches, then return the chicken to the pan.
  • Add tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, garlic, ginger paste, carrots, eggplant, and the remaining kedjenou seasoning to the pot. Cook for 2-3 minutes until it becomes aromatic.
  • Stir in water, Maggi, bay leaves, and thyme. Nestle the scotch bonnets into the liquid if using them, and cover the pot with aluminum foil, followed by the lid.
  • Cook for 1 hour and remove the Dutch oven to shake it back and forth 2-3 times during the cooking process.
  • Remove the stew from the oven, and place it in a serving dish. Eat as is, over a bed of rice, or with traditional attiéké.

Notes

Nutrition Disclosure:
  • The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for professional advice.
 

Nutrition

Serving: 1 ServingCalories: 347kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 45gFat: 11gSodium: 670mgFiber: 4gSugar: 7g
Keyword kedjenou
Did you make this recipe? Let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and follow @thejamilghar or tag #thejamilghar on Instagram!
Recipe Rating




Calee Cortes

Sunday 22nd of May 2022

Gonna be honest, I was scared of the whole bone in, whole chicken situation, but it was really delicious and not at all scary. I love all the veggies and that you can make it as spicy as you want!

Tressa Jamil

Sunday 12th of June 2022

This is music to my ears. I love introducing people to new cuisine; I hope it's a meal you continue to make.

RJ

Thursday 19th of May 2022

I loved this chicken stew! I wish I could have it every day. It is so healthy and filling. I don't like tomatoes and do not mind them at all in this dish.

Tressa Jamil

Sunday 12th of June 2022

What a kind comment. Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed it, and that we could make you love tomatoes. just a little bit.