Chicken · Mexican & South American Cuisine · Soups & Salads

Brazilian Stew with Chicken (Moqueca)

Recipe remake with simpler instructions and same great taste

I admit, this is my own and probably butchered “if I don’t use these veggies/chicken soon, they’ll go bad” version of Moqueca. Moqueca is a Brazilian stew that is typically made with a white-fleshed fish. The broth is infused with coconut, lime, cilantro, and paprika. It may seem like a foreign combination but if you’re a fan of Thai curries with coconut, you will love this version.


  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced lengthwise  and then cut into very thin slices
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 Tbsp lime juice (about 2-3 limes)
  • 1 large Russet potato, sliced into 1/8 discs and then quartered
    1 package of white mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 cup chopped spring onion, or 1 medium yellow onion, chopped or sliced
  • 1/4 cup green onion greens, chopped
  • 1/2 yellow and 1/2 red bell pepper, seeded, de-stemmed, chopped (or sliced)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 Tbsp paprika (Hungarian sweet)
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1 large bunch of cilantro, chopped with some set aside for garnish
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup of chicken broth
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 2.5 cups of uncooked rice (I used arborio)

Note: I am utterly incapable of cooking rice in a pot. I found a nice microwaveable way that works well with Arborio rice.


1. For the rice: In a large, microwave-safe bowl, cover the rice with water; let soak for 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, place chicken pieces in a bowl, add the minced garlic and lime juice so that the pieces are well coated. Sprinkle generously all over with salt and pepper. Keep chilled.

3. After 1 hour, drain the rice and return it to the bowl. Add 2 1/4 cups of water and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Microwave the rice on high power for 5 minutes. Pull back the plastic wrap and stir the rice. Replace the plastic wrap and microwave the rice for another 5 minutes. Pull back the plastic wrap to stir the rice a second time. Replace the plastic wrap and microwave until the rice is just tender, about 3 minutes longer. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

4. Back to the stew. In a large covered pan (such as a Dutch oven), coat the bottom with about 2 Tbsp of olive oil and heat on medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook a few minutes until softened. Layer the potatoes across the pan and add the bell pepper, green onions, paprika, and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. (At least a teaspoon of salt.) Cook for 6-7 minutes longer, until the potatoes begin to brown and bell pepper begins to soften. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, mushrooms, cilantro and cook 3-4 more minutes. Add chicken broth and bring to a simmer and cook for 7-8 minutes, uncovered

3 Evenly distribute the chicken throughout the pan and submerge them into the soup. Pour coconut milk over the chicken and vegetables.

4 Bring soup to a simmer, reduce the heat, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. You may need to add more salt (likely), lime or lemon juice, paprika, pepper, or chili flakes to get the soup to the desired seasoning for your taste.

Garnish with cilantro. Serve with rice or with crusty bread.

Adapted from


One thought on “Brazilian Stew with Chicken (Moqueca)

  1. I found your link on the Fish Stew recipe posted on I made your chicken version tonight, and we really, really enjoyed it. I had to use basil instead of cilantro, however (non-cilantro eater in the house), but it still totally worked. Also used low fat coconut milk in place of regular. That, too, was fine. A really lovely meal. Thank you for the recipe!!!

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