This dish is unusual, delicious, and simple to make. It can easily be expanded for a bigger table.
In West Africa, groundnut is the local name for peanut, and variations of this dish abound. Some countries add veggies such as yams or cabbage, but I think this muddies the spicy peanut flavor. It’s best made with thighs or legs which add to the richness of the sauce. You can use breasts, but you will need to shorten the cooking time by about half. Garnish with chopped peanuts and cilantro. We like to serve it with rice so the sauce can shine through. We also add a simple salad of chopped tomatoes, red onion, and green pepper (roughly equal amounts of each), salt to taste, and and a bit of minced green chili.
West African Chicken Groundnut Stew
Serves 4 – 6
Vegetable oil (not olive)
4 chicken thighs (skinned, halved along the bone if large)
1 medium white onion, chopped fine
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup canned tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup chicken stock (or a stock cube dissolved in a cup of water)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
Salt the chicken thighs and brown them in the oil on both sides, about five minutes. Set aside. Add the onions to the pan – use more oil if needed – and cook them until softened. Add the garlic, ginger, cayenne and tomatoes. Simmer until well blended. Dissolve the peanut butter in the warmed chicken stock, add to the tomato mixture and bring to the boil. Add the browned chicken pieces, then simmer gently for 45 minutes to an hour (about a half hour for breasts) until the chicken is cooked but not falling off the bone. Garnish with the cilantro and chopped peanuts and serve with plain boiled rice and the optional salad.