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Blog / Quick Recipe

A Taste of Africa: South African Chutney Chicken

Getting to know Africa includes experiencing the vastly different - and yummy - expressions of each culture through food.

Three ingredients? Under an hour? This recipe is just not to be believed! So simple. So delicious. You can use any chutney you like, but we prefer to get Mrs. Ball's Chutney when we can. Any store that sells African (or South African) groceries should have it. For those of you in the Toronto area (like we are) - we suggest a trip to The South African Store in downtown Toronto. You can also order online from them. They have quite a variety of Mrs. Ball's Chutney for sale.


You can, of course, make your own chutney! Here's a link to a recipe we found at Foodgeeks for a chutney they claim is very similar to Mrs. Ball's. We haven't tried it yet. If you do, please let us know how you like it. We try to keep these three ingredients on hand pretty much all the time. Because this recipe is so easy and so quick, it makes for a great meal when you're all busy. It's also saved us when people have dropped in and we're "casting about" for something tasty to serve. Buy chicken thighs or boneless breasts ahead when they are on sale. Keep at least a couple of jars of chutney and packets of onion soup mix on hand and "Bob's Your Uncle", you've got the making of a great meal. Add some rice on the side and a little salad and you're good to go. There is a wide variety of chutney chicken recipes around - just do an internet search and you'll see! We have made this one for years, though and keep returning to it because it's both easy to make and easy to keep ingredients on hand for. Don't mess with perfection, right?

We love sharing our family recipes with you but please remember you can search online and find lots of variations on this dish and other terrific African recipes. An online recipe site we use over and over again is The Congo Cookbook. My East Africa Journal is also a great source for recipes. afrolems.com - A food blog for Nigerian, African and InterNational recipes is a great source. Visit them - they have a really nice selection of recipes and the instructions are laid out in a really easy to understand manner. AllRecipes and Food.com are also good resources. Just a simple web search will turn up a wide variety of recipes for you to try.


  • 12 to 15 chicken thighs (or you can use halved boneless breasts - we prefer thighs because we think they have more flavour)
  • 1 jar (12 ounces) of chutney (we prefer hot chutney but use whatever flavour and heat quotient you like)
  • 1 package of onion soup mix (dry)
  • Set your oven to preheat at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Combine the chutney and onion soup mix
  • Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper (go easy on the salt - or omit entirely - as the onion soup mix is fairly salty)
  • Put your chicken thighs in a baking dish (big enough that there's a bit of room around each thigh - don't crowd them)
  • Pour the chutney and onion soup mixture over the thighs
  • Bake for about an hour (start checking them at about 45 minutes - the chutney sauce should be a little bit brown and have gotten a little crunchy around the edges)
  • You can do the "insert a knife and see if juices run clear test" but, honestly, as long as your oven is working properly, after 45 minutes to an hour, it's done!

There, we told you. Three ingredients and one hour! We have no idea who started making this in our family. It seems like it's been a "go to" recipe forever! This recipe makes about 6 to 7 good-sized servings. A little hint? We almost always make a double batch. Then we either have some leftovers or we freeze it for a "rainy day". For a family get-together, we made an entire "club pack" of chicken thighs with this recipe and not one scrap was left! Enjoy! And please let us know how you enjoy this recipe and any creative culinary modifications you make!

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