Average: 0 (0 votes)
Active time
20 minutes
Total time
45 minutes
6 servings

For the chicken stew:

1 tablespoon sweet paprika

¾ teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground cardamom or 4 cardamom pods, crushed to reveal the seeds

⅛ teaspoon ground cloves

⅛ teaspoon cayenne, or more to taste

⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning the chicken

3 pounds bone-in chicken parts

Salt, to taste

2-3 tablespoons olive or peanut oil

1 large onion, coarsely chopped

2 large cloves garlic, minced

About 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

For the teff polenta:

1½ cups teff grain (not flour)

1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste

Freshly ground black pepper


To prepare the chicken: 

  1. In a small bowl, combine the paprika, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cayenne, and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy Dutch oven or saucepan wide enough to hold the chicken in one layer. Brown the chicken, skin side down, over high heat in two batches. Set the chicken aside.
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-high. Stir in the onion, adding extra 1 tablespoon of oil, if needed. Cook over medium-high heat until the onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the ground spices and cook, stirring frequently, for 20 seconds.
  4. Stir in the chicken broth, taking care to release any browned bits sticking to the bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, and return the chicken to the pot, browned side up. Cover and simmer until the chicken is tender and registers 165°F on an instant-read thermometer in the thickest part, 25-45 minutes, depending upon the size of the pieces. Add more broth or some water if the mixture becomes dry. Skim off the fat.

To prepare the teff polenta: 

  1. While the chicken is cooking, bring 4½ cups water to boil in a kettle. Set a heavy 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the teff and toast it, stirring frequently, until the grains emit a mild toasty aroma and begin to pop, 3 to 6 minutes. (You will notice little white dots of popped grain but may not hear the popping.)
  2. Turn off the heat. Stand back to avoid getting splattered, and gradually stir in the 4½ cups boiling water and the salt. Stir well. Reduce the heat, cover, and cook at a gentle boil until the grains are tender and the mixture develops a porridge-like consistency, 15 to 20 minutes. Stir every few minutes to prevent the grains from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Break up lumps by smashing them against the side of the pot. Add more salt, if needed, and pepper to taste.

To serve: Mound the teff polenta on four plates, and ladle the chicken stew on top.

A Lorna Sass recipe; photo from The Teff Company. This recipe used with permission from Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way, Clarkson N. Potter, © 2006 by Lorna Sass.


Calories: 470
Fat: 13g
Saturated Fat: 2.5g
Sodium: 490mg
Carbohydrate: 38g
Sugars: 2g
Fiber: 4g
Protein: 48g

Yield: 6 servings

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