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Nkrakra (Light Chicken Soup)

Nassima Rothacker / Zoe's Ghana Kitchen

Chef notes

This light and spicy broth is so wholesome and warming. It's my go-to dish on chilly winter days to stave off cold symptoms … and it works every time!


Chalé Sauce
  • 1 (14-ounce) can tomatoes or 9 ounces fresh tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh root ginger, grated (unpeeled if organic)
  • 1 red Scotch bonnet chile, deseeded
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 3 cloves garlic (optional)
  • 8-10 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 handful thyme sprigs
  • 4-5 guinea peppers or tropical mixed peppercorns, cracked open
  • 1 teaspoon extra-hot chile powder
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
  • Chalé Sauce (recipe above)
  • 1 quart chicken stock, hot
  • black pepper
  • 14 ounces yams or sweet potatoes, carrots and white cabbage, peeled and diced
  • coriander (cilantro) leaves, to garnish


For the Chalé Sauce:

Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend together until you have a fairly smooth paste.

For the soup:


Put the chicken in a large, heavy-based saucepan or flame-proof casserole dish with the onion, thyme, guinea peppers, chile powder, garlic and 1 teaspoon of the sea salt. Cook together over a low heat, partially covered, until the juices start to run from the chicken.


Pour the Chalé Sauce over the chicken mixture, then cover and simmer for about 30 minutes, until the chicken juices run clear when pierced.


Stir in the hot stock and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour, until the chicken is tender.


Season with black pepper. Add your choice of vegetables and cook until tender. Remove the sprigs of thyme before serving. Scatter with coriander.

Reprinted from Zoe's Ghana Kitchen by Zoe Adjonyoh, published by Mitchell Beazley. Copyright © 2017.