Sunday, January 2, 2011

African Chicken Peanut Stew

I've been blogging here for almost a year.  A lot has changed since I began last January.  

First, I learned how to spell "vinaigrette".  Who knew?

Second, I stopped shopping at large supermarkets.  My life has improved by about 350% bc of that decision.  

Third, our grocery budget increased by that much too.  Jk.  We don't actually budget.  That is a good idea, tho.  NY Res!

Fourth, I discovered food blogging.  And Pioneer Woman.  And how much of a creep I am when I talk about her.

Fifth, I have tried well over 250 new recipes.  And found some real gems.  

Sixth, I love food way too much.

And my gift for you for the new year?  I have just now updated my recipe index.  I know, I am too kind.  It had been lacking any updating because I was having problems with the editor and didn't have time to figure it out.  Now all the recipes are there and organized.  

Anyways, who watches Top Chef?  I love it.  I love the Top Chef All-Stars even more.  All my favorites are there.  Scot and I especially love Carla.  She is hilarious and the sweetest competitor ever.  She recently won a elimination challenge by making an African Stew mildly similar to this one.  It was vegetarian and I just couldn't believe that a soup could beat out all the other dishes that seemed much more fancy schmancy (I love fancy schmancy).

Well, I found the recipe for her version.  Possibly the most complicated stew ever.  Even just the final layering of all the components to plate is ridiculous.  Although, I would love to someday try out a real deal Top Chef is not the day.  

This version of an African Peanut Stew is much easier and much, much quicker.  Still not quick.  Takes over 2 hours to make.  But, it is delicious!  The main flavors are the peanuts, peanut butter, sweet potatoes, ginger, and coriander/cilantro.  I knew Scot would love this.  Those flavors are some of his favorites.  And he was raving.  I also loved the combination of the sweet flavors with coriander and the kick of spice from the cayenne.  The smell of it stewing brought me back to my trip to Mali.  

African Chicken Peanut Stew

2-3 pounds chicken legs, thighs and/or wings
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 large yellow or white onion, sliced
A 3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
6-8 garlic cloves, chopped roughly
2-3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 15-ounce can of crushed tomatoes
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup roasted peanuts
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1 teaspoon cayenne, or to taste
Salt and black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro

Heat the vegetable oil in a large soup pot set over medium-high heat. Salt the chicken pieces well, pat them dry and brown them in the oil. Don't crowd the pot, so do this in batches. Set the chicken pieces aside as they brown.

Sauté the onions in the oil for 3-4 minutes, stirring often and scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes, then add the sweet potatoes and stir well to combine.

Add the chicken, chicken broth, crushed tomatoes, peanut butter, peanuts, coriander and cayenne and stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer and taste for salt, adding more if needed. Cover the pot and simmer gently for 90 minutes (check after an hour), or until the chicken meat easily falls off the bone and the sweet potatoes are tender.

Remove the chicken pieces and set them in a bowl to cool, until cool enough to touch. Remove and discard the skin if you want, or chop it and put it back into the pot. Shred the meat off the bones and put the meat back in the pot.

Adjust the seasonings for salt and cayenne, then add as much black pepper as you think you can stand—the stew should be peppery. Stir in the cilantro and serve by itself, or with simple steamed rice.

(Servings: 6-8, Prep time: 30 min., Cook time: 2 hrs., Difficulty: Easy)

foodforscot Ratings:

Shanon (taste):  8/10
Scot (taste):  10/10
Effort:  3/5
Dishwashing Effort:  3/5


  1. i've enjoyed your year of food blogging. mostly for selfish reasons in that i have benefited from it. so has brian. do you sometimes use food to cheer people up? just a random thought..thats kind of a weird thing i realized i do.
    anyway, i stalk pw too so thats ok.

  2. yes, all the time! whenever im talking to a troubled friend, i always tell them they need to just go eat chocolate cake or something. works for scot too. or if i am lacking motivation, i bribe myself with food sometimes. "if you study for 3 more hours, you get a monster cookie."

  3. I love these flavors too. There is a Cooking Light recipe for an African peanut sauce to serve over baked sweet potatoes that would get you a similar effect in less time, if you ever get a craving and just can't wait! (I've used it as a dipping sauce for sweet potato fries too.) And ironically I have something very similar coming up in a few days, watch for it!

  4. I adore Top Chef. We don't have cable so I go to the gym just so I can catch the latest episode. I was also drawn to Carla's stew, and I'm so happy to see your recreation. This looks amazing. I'm so happy I found your blog this have introduced me to some great recipes! Thank you for sharing with me. I hope you have a happy Tuesday!

  5. I saw this when Elise posted it and thought OMG I need this NOW. I think it's gonna have to wait til after my half marathon this weekend. But get made it will. This sounds fantastic!

  6. Yum! I love everthying about this stew.

  7. Hi Shanon,

    We made this eggplant soup a few times over at our house. It's much the same idea, but with eggplant and green beans:
    I'm looking forward to trying your chicken version!


  8. Hi, there. I'm so happy to have found your blog. I'm very interested in your recipes and particularly in the African ones.
    If you don't mind I will put your RSS Feed into my Greek recipe blog. Take care and keep blogging.

  9. Hi, there. I'm so happy to have found your blog. I'm very interested in your recipes and particularly in the African ones.
    If you don't mind I will put your RSS Feed into my Greek recipe blog. Take care and keep blogging.