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Shared by Rinat Tzadok

Turmeric Chicken Stew

Yield: 6 servingsTime: 45m

Turmeric Chicken Stew

Yield: 6 servingsTime: 45m

Chef and baker Rinat Tzadok adapted her father’s slow-simmering recipe for chicken stew to her quicker-paced life. Her recipe is ready in 45 minutes, but still captures the flavor of her dad’s version.  

This recipe was shared by Rinat Tzadok. Read more about her family in "A Quicker Take on a Slow-Cooked Chicken Stew." 


For the Meatballs:

  • 1 pound ground chicken, preferably thigh meat*
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • ½ cup chopped parsley
  • ½ cup breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

For the Stew:

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 5 small zucchini, trimmed and sliced into ½” rounds
  • 5 stalks celery, cleaned with tops, cut into 3-inch strips
  • 1 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional
  • Couscous or rice, for serving
Soups & StewsMeat North Africa


  • Step 1

    In a medium bowl, mix the ground chicken, onion, garlic, parsley, breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons of the oil, turmeric, salt and pepper and combine well. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Prepare a medium pot of boiling salted water and stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the turmeric.

  • Step 2

    Meanwhile, prepare the stew: In a medium pot, heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the zucchini, celery, turmeric, salt and pepper. Toss to combine the ingredients by picking up the pot with a kitchen towel and swirling. Add the water and pepper flakes, if using, and bring to boil, then cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the vegetables just begin to soften, 5 min. Season with salt, to taste.

  • Step 3

    While the vegetables cook, shape the ground chicken mixture into 1/4 cup-sized balls (slightly larger than a golf ball in size) and add to the boiling turmeric water. Cook until the meatballs float to the top of the pot, 3 to 4 minutes.

  • Step 4

    Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meatballs from the broth and add to the simmering zucchini and celery. Simmer until the meatballs are fully cooked, 15 to 20 minutes more. 

  • Step 5

    Remove from the heat and serve immediately with couscous or rice.

*For the best result, use a meat grinder to ground fresh chicken thighs. Some butchers and meat counters will take a package of chicken thighs and ground them for you.