Liberian Peppered Chicken & Shrimp (Chicken Gravy)

Peppers of all kinds – red and green bell, Scotch bonnet, habanero, and others – are staples of Liberian cuisine. This recipe combines two varieties to add surprising depth to this Liberian favorite.

Chicken Gravy can be found as a part of the Liberian Thanksgiving celebration on the first Thursday of November. It’s generally considered to be a day for Liberians to give thanks for their freedom and the founding of their country. Like in the United States, people gather for a special meal, as well as concerts and dancing.

Liberian Chicken Gravy- Peppered Chicken and Shrimp

Liberian Chicken Gravy- Peppered Chicken and Shrimp

A Liberian staple, Chicken Gravy tastes complex with a spicy heat complimenting the dish's richness. Best of all, everything comes together easily in just one pan. Serve with rice.
5 from 1 vote
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Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: African, Liberia, West Africa
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Marinate: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: My Hungry Traveler


  • Large heavy skillet
  • Food Processor or blender



  • 6 Chicken thighs, bone-in, skin-on
  • 1 tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ tsp Black pepper
  • ½ tsp Onion powder
  • ½ tsp Garlic powder
  • ½ tsp Cayenne pepper


  • 1 large Onion, roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves Garlic, peeled
  • 1 large Tomato, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup Fresh basil or parsley
  • 1 cube Chicken bouillon
  • 2 medium Habanero pepper, stemmed (or another hot chili)
  • 2 tbsp Olive or vegetable oil
  • 3 oz Tomato paste
  • 1 cup Chicken stock
  • large Red bell pepper, sliced very thin
  • ½ cup Fresh green beans, cut into 3 pieces
  • 12 oz Large shrimp, cleaned


  • Marinate Chicken – Mix together marinade ingredients in a seal-top plastic bag. Add chicken thighs and massage chicken to ensure everything is coated. Let sit 30 minutes.
  • Make Sauce – Meanwhile, puree onion, garlic, bullion cube, fresh herbs, 1 chili pepper, and tomato in a food processor or blender.
    Preheat oven to 425°F (220C). Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Once oil is shimmering, add shrimp and cook until pink and translucent, 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Once pan is very hot again, add chicken skin-side down. Cook, undisturbed, until the skin turns golden brown, 3-5 minutes. Transfer chicken skin-side up onto a plate, leaving juices behind.
    Lower heat to medium and stir tomato paste into the juices in the skillet. Cook, stirring occasionally until it become fragrant and darkens, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the pureed ingredients and cook 5 minutes more. Add chicken stock and cook another 2 minutes to incorporate the flavors.
    Stir in bell pepper, other chile pepper, and green beans. Nestle chicken thighs in the pan, skin side down.
  • Bake Chicken Gravy – Place skillet in the oven and bake until sauce gets a slushy texture, 30 to 35 minutes.
    To serve, transfer chicken thighs to a serving platter. Sprinkle shrimp over and then top everything with the sauce. Serve with rice.


Calories: 132kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 1309mg | Potassium: 396mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 706IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1mg

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