Chicken Stew with Coriander, Cilantro, and Chard

Middle EasternGluten-FreeSwiss Chard

Delicious Chicken Stew! Inspired by Middle Eastern flavors with chard, coriander and cilantro.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Now here’s an oft neglected spice—coriander seeds, what you get when you let your cilantro plants go to seed. Although from the same plant as cilantro, the seeds have a distinctively different taste from the leaves. There’s just a hint of familiarity between them.

This recipe, in which coriander is one of the star attractions, comes by way of my friend Aida Mollenkamp, author of the the highly instructive cookbook Keys to the Kitchen: The Essential Reference for Becoming a More Accomplished, Adventurous Cook.

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The recipe caught my eye because of its other ingredients—chicken, cilantro, and the princess of leafy greens, Swiss chard.

The coriander?

That was the wild card. But oh my oh my, I love it in this dish.

According to Aida the stew has classical Middle Eastern flavors. This stew is seriously one of the best things I’ve ever eaten. What a delight to discover how well coriander can play with chicken and greens!

Coriander Chicken Cilantro Chard Stew

By the way, I highly recommend that you check out Aida’s book, especially if you are relatively new to cooking, or would just like to improve your cooking skills. The book is packed with useful diagrams, step-by-step techniques, and helpful cooking advice.

Chicken Stew with Coriander, Cilantro, and Chard Recipe

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6-8



  • 10 cardamom pods (or 1 1/2 teaspoons cardamom seeds)
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1 whole 4 lb (2 kg)chicken, cut into parts
  • 9 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more to taste


  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 Tbsp ground coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 4 cups roughly chopped cilantro, including tender stems, loosely packed (about 120 g)
  • 4-5 cups broth (you will make this in the recipe)
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 pounds chard, ribs removed, leaves cut crosswise into 1 inch strips
  • Salt


The Broth

1 Start making the broth: If you are using cardamom pods, break them open in a mortar and pestle or with the handle of a chef's knife. Crack the black peppercorns as well.

Put the crushed cardamom and black peppercorns, cinnamon stick, bay leaf, onion, lemon, and chicken into a large pot.

Add 9 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Skim any any frothy scum that collects on the surface of the broth.

2 Remove the chicken: After about 20 minutes, remove the chicken breast pieces and set aside.

Once the broth has cooked for 45 minutes to an hour (the timing doesn't need to be precise), turn off the heat and remove the chicken legs and thighs from the pot.

3 Strain the broth: Strain the broth through a fine-meshed strainer and reserve 4-5 cups. Add the salt to this both and taste.  Add more salt to taste. Save the remaining broth for another recipe (it will freeze well).

4 Strip off usable meat from chicken: Remove and discard the chicken skin from the chicken parts . Strip off all the usable meat from the chicken and shred it by hand. Set it aside. Discard the bones.

The Stew

1 Heat 2 Tbsp of the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the garlic cloves, ground coriander, salt, white pepper and stir to make a paste. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant, stirring often.

Add half the cilantro and cook until it wilts.

2 Add the broth (four cups makes a rather dry stew, 5 cups is a little looser) heat it to a simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes.

3 While the broth simmers, mix the vinegar, lemon juice and red onion together in a bowl. Set aside.

4 Stir in the chard leaves a little at a time, adding more only when the previous batch has wilted. Add the shredded chicken and cook everything for 8-10 minutes.

5 While the stew is in its final simmer, heat the last Tbsp of butter in a small pan over medium-high heat. Wilt the remaining cilantro in the butter and cook for a minute or two.

To serve, add the cilantro and the onion mixture to the stew, mix well and add salt to taste.

Serve with bread, rice or potatoes.

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Recipe adapted from and published here with permission of the author, Aida Mollenkamp of Aida Mollenkamp's Keys to the Kitchen: The Essential Reference for Becoming a More Accomplished, Adventurous Cook


Wikipedia on Coriander

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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33 Comments / Reviews

No ImageChicken Stew with Coriander, Cilantro, and Chard

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Laura

    Loved this recipe, Elise. I would comment, though, that the preparation time is much more than 15 minutes. (It took me nearly 15 minutes to chop all the cilantro.)

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Evie

    Made this for dinner tonight. It turned out more of a soup than stew,. But I used less chicken and chard as I was making it for just two people. It filled the house with fantastic aromas and taste absolutely fabulous. Thanks for the recipe.


  3. Whitney

    I have been eyeing this recipe for some time now…I am so glad I decided to make it! It is one of the most delicious soups/stews I have ever tasted.

    I have only one question about it. How did you keep your swiss chard so bright green? Mine turned a very drab olive color after simmering in the broth (not that it affected the taste!). Just curious for presentation purposes. Thanks!


    Show Replies (1)
  4. Stacey

    Thank you so much for this recipe. Made it today, precisely as written, for my husband who generally does not consider soup to be real food. It is heavenly, the best soup we’ve ever had. I was scared by the amount of chard as I was adding it, but it took on the wonderful, buttery flavor of the broth, and we couldn’t get enough of it. The complexity of the flavors was so unexpected. This will be my new ‘go-to’ broth recipe for sure. Definitely inspired to purchase Aida’s book and can’t wait to try other dishes!


  5. Brianna

    I made this recipe last night, and both my husband and I loved it. I stayed almost exactly true to the recipe (though I had to sub green onions for the final 1/2 red onion, out of necessity) and the flavors were deliciously complex and warming. This is most definitely weekend cooking, and I’d suggest that the total prep/cook time is underestimated. This recipe took me more than 2 hours, even with some prep help. I’ll be making this again for sure! Thanks so much for sharing the recipe.

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Coriander Chicken Cilantro Chard StewChicken Stew with Coriander, Cilantro, and Chard