Legendary Dishes | Moambé Chicken / Nyembwe Chicken (chicken soup / stew)


This is chicken cooked in a spicy onion and tomato sauce flavoured by the puréed red fruit extracted from around the nuts of the palm tree. Known as palmnut butter and palmnut cream, this enigmatic food is called moambé by the people of the Congo River basin and nyembwe by the people of Gabon. The addition of vegetables such as okra will make it into a stew. It is served with fried plantain, boiled rice or cooked yam.

  • 1 kg chicken breast, cut into large pieces, marinaded in red palm oil (optional)
  • 500 g palmnut cream ((sauce graine / noix de palme)
  • 500 g tomatoes, skinned, chopped
  • 400 g onions, sliced
  • 100 ml hot water
  • 45 g mustard
  • 30 ml vegetable oil
  • 12 green chillies, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 5 g black pepper
  • 5 g cayenne pepper powder / paprika powder

Fry onions in oil over a high heat for 5 minutes, cover with a tight lid, reduce heat to medium-low, leave to cook for 15 minutes.

Lift lid, carefully allow moisture in the lid to fall into the pan. Stir onions and scrape up any pieces that have stuck to the pan. Cover and cook for another 15 minutes.

The onions should be soft and lightly coloured.

Increase heat and brown the chicken pieces in the oily onions.

Stir the chillies, garlic and seasonings into the chicken-onion mixture.

Add the tomatoes, cook for 5 minutes over a medium-high heat.

Add the palmnut cream and around 6 tablespoons of hot water.

Gently stir the chicken pieces in the sauce.

Add the mustard, cook over a medium-low heat uncovered for 45 minutes.