Poul ak nwa, poulet aux noix, or Haitian chicken with cashews is such a succulent dish, you are guaranteed to ask for seconds.
Just writing about this Poulet aux noix dish is making my mouth water.
This is notably an extremely popular dish in Haiti. As I am writing this post (A.J), I am having avid memories of when I used to vacation in the northern part of Haiti, Cap Haitian.
I am used to eating poul ak nwa growing up in Port-au-Prince, but the true flavors and the enjoyment of this dish is certainly from its region.
To this day, I can still remember the flavors and the enjoyment I had the last time I ate this meal. It has been over 28 years since I had this Poulet aux noix dish, and when my wife made it, I could not help being in the verge of tearing, those were fond memories.
Not sure why the dish is so much more delicious au Cap than anywhere else in the country, I can only conclude it must be because of their abundant cashew harvesting.
The Haitian chicken cashew is not to be confused with the Asian version of chicken cashew. The flavors are completely opposite, and our version is more of a stew.
Easily eaten with boiled plantains (bannann bouyi) or with rice and beans (di ri kole ak pwa).
Cashews To Use For Poulet Aux Noix
Cashews for this dish has to be raw cashews. Cashews are shaped like a kidney, and it comes from a tropical evergreen tree that produces cashew seeds.
Though it is part of the Nuts family as it is nutritionally comparable to nuts, but it is an actual seed. So, if you are allergic to Nuts, as good as this dish is, it is not for you.
Cashews also have some good health benefits that may be beneficial to your overall health. They are rich in unsaturated fats, which can be helpful at lowering the risk of heart disease.
A great source of minerals essential for healthy brain development and energy production. A great source of plant protein that is rich in fiber and low in sugar.
Though cashews are often substituted with peanuts, I certainly recommend making this dish without alteration to the original ingredients.
Other methods of cooking it is by pre-cooking the cashews in water before added to the chicken stew. For our recipe, we want the true flavors of the cashews, therefore we are cooking it in the stew to infuse the chicken with the cashew flavors.
Chicken – Which Type To Use
Typically, this dish is made with chicken quarters, thighs and legs. We make it with what we call hard chicken, which is actual the fowl, hence the reason it takes such a long time to make.
The chicken is not your normal supermarket chicken as it needs to tenderize. But it can be made with regular chicken at the supermarket.
Of course, your meat should be well seasoned with the Haitian epis after it has been thoroughly cleaned.
Ingredients Need To Make This Dish
To make this poul ak nwa or poulet aux noix, you’ll need the following key ingredients. The full recipe with the exact measurement is listed in the recipe card below.
Chicken pieces: Feel free to use your desired pieces. Clean the chicken then wash. See our Poulet en sauce recipe on how to clean the chicken.
Haitian Epis: This seasoning will provide you with the upmost flavorful dish.
Juice From 1 lemon: This will bring slight acidic flavor to the dish.
Salt: For this recipe, we used kosher salt.
Fresh parsley: To provide a herbal earthy flavor.
Bell pepper, onion, garlic, and whole cloves: Will provide depth of flavor.
Water: You may also use broth (vegetable, beef, or chicken).
Canola Oil: Is needed to brown the meat.
Tomato paste: To add a deep rich red color.
Raw Cashews: The star of the dish.
Habanero pepper: For extra flavor. But is completely optional.
How To Pair It
As stated, you can pair this dish with any rice. You can pair it with Haitian black rice, Rice and Beans, Pigeon peas rice, Haitian White Rice, and okra rice.
How To Store This Dish
Refrigerating Option: Allow your poulet au noix to cool down completely. Once cooled, refrigerate the stew by transferring it to some a container with a tight-fitting lid and be sure to transfer it to the fridge within two hours.
Again, we highly recommend you let the stew cool fully first. If the stew is still warm (lukewarm), try not to worry too much as most refrigerators are set to 40 F and sometimes even colder.
Freezing Option: Freezing this poul ak nwa is another option to ensure you have more soups to enjoy in the future. Freezing the stew will extend the shelf life as compared with storing them in the fridge.
This Haitian chicken stew with cashews will last up to three months in the freezer comfortably. We recommend using a freezer safe container.
If you to do not have a freezer safe container, the next step is to use freezer safe bags. If using the bags, remove all excess air by pressing it out.
Once ready to eat, let the stew thaw out in the fridge, then reheat the stew in the microwave (if in a freezer safe container) or if the stew is in a bag, transfer it in a saucepan and reheat over the stove.
More Haitian Recipes To Enjoy
If you loved this poulet au noix recipe, we recommend trying these Haitian recipes next.
It warms our hearts to see the recipes you make from this site, and we’d especially would love to know if you tried this recipe.
Also, we would appreciate if could give it a star rating below!
Poulet Aux Noix
- Large Saucepan
To Marinate The Chicken
- 1 ½ Lbs. Chicken Pieces; We used "hard chicken" also known as fowl. Any desired pieces will work. Clean and wash
- ½ Cup Haitian Epis
- Juice from ½ Lemon
- 1 Tsp. Kosher Salt
- About 5 sprigs parsley
Slice, Chop, And Dice
- 1 Bell Pepper Sliced. Any color will work
- 1 Medium Onion Sliced and divided
- 3 Garlic cloves Peeled and chopped
- 5 Whole Cloves Crushed/smashed with mortar and pestle
For The Stew
- ½ Cup Canola Oil
- 4 Tbsp. Tomato Paste Plus more to make it richer
- 8 Cups Water
- 1 Habanero Pepper Optional
- Kosher Salt To Taste
- 1 Lemon
- 1 Cup Raw Cashews
Marinate The Meat & Prepare The Ingredients
- Marinate The Meat: After washing the meat, top the meat with the remaining ingredients. Mix well and set aside to marinate for a minimum of 30 minutes or overnight. Meanwhile: Slice 1 bell pepper. Set aside. Remove the seeds and discard. Slice the onions. Set aside. Chop the garlic. In a mortar and pestle or in a food processor, smash or chop the garlic and cloves. Set aside.
Prepare The Stew
- After marinating: Place a large pot or saucepan on the stove over medium high heat. Transfer the meat and seasoning to the pot and cook for 15 minutes; covered. Stir occasionally and once it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, delegate slowly with 1 cup of water. Mix well, then add 7 cups of water. Cover and allow to cook for 15 minutes. Stir, and continue to cook for an additional 15 minutes (45 minutes in total). Remove the meat: After the total time, remove the meat from the pot and set it aside. Transfer the liquid to a bowl. Set it aside. In the same pot or saucepan (rinse if desired), add ½ cup canola oil. When the oil is heated through, add the chicken in batches to avoid splashes. Pan fry on both sides for a few minutes until brown on both sides. Then remove the chicken and set it aside. Next, add the tomato paste. Then add the garlic and whole cloves mixture, followed by half of the sliced onions and half of the bell peppers. Add the cashews and chicken. Mix well. Cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes; stirring occasionally. Add the chicken liquid, additional herbs (if desired – parsley and basil; optional), remaining onions and bell peppers. Then add juice from 1 lemon. Mix well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 habanero pepper for extra flavor and heat, if desired. Lower the heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy.