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Chicken and Gourmet Groundnut Stew

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

Peanut butter stews abound all over the African continent. Their spiciness ranges from five-alarm to a warm glow, and this one falls in between.

NotesWhen you think of African food, one of the first dishes you think of is Peanut Stew. It is a well-known dish throughout not only Africa but also the Caribbean. There seem to be as many different recipes for this dish as there are names for the main ingredient, which include groundnut, earthnut, and goober. Some more unusual recipes call for a jigger of sherry or white wine, or a piece of rib for flavoring. Some of the more arcane measurements from older cookbooks will tell you to grind a “cigarette tin” of roasted nuts. This recipe was adapted from one given to us by Paula Yaa Johnson, a dancer who specializes in African dance.

Serves6 to 8

Cooking Methodbraising, stewing

CostModerate

Total Timeunder 2 hours

Kid FriendlyYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party, Family Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, lactose-free, low carb, soy free

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturegarlicky, hot & spicy, nutty, savory, spiced

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 9 chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 3 cups chicken broth, homemade or canned
  • 2 (8-ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • ¾ cup unsalted sugarless peanut butter (available at natural foods markets)

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a 5-quart Dutch oven. In batches, add the chicken and cook over medium-high heat, turning often, until browned on all sides, about 6 minutes per batch. Transfer the chicken to a plate and set aside.

  2. Add the onions to the Dutch oven and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Then add the garlic, curry powder, thyme, bay leaves, salt, and cayenne. Stir for 1 minute, and then stir in the chicken broth and tomato sauce.

  3. Return the chicken thighs to the Dutch oven and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover tightly, and simmer until the chicken shows no sign of pink at the bone when prodded with the tip of a sharp knife, about 45 minutes.

  4. In a small bowl, blend the peanut butter with about 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Stir this mixture back into the sauce, and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately.

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