African Peanut Stew

The girls have been a bit unwell recently. It seems to be the way that one will fall ill, then the other two will follow, one after the other. They don’t all go down together. Upside: we don’t get three unwell, grouchy 3 year olds all at the same time. Downside: an illness that would last 2-3 days, takes over a week to get through. And they don’t suffer in silence. Oh boy, no they don’t. Three times the joy; three times the amount of times you’re gotten out of bed at night to a wail of “muuuummmmmyyyyy” (I have a love/hate relationship with that word). Many a 3am has seen us contemplating selling off one/all of our children (we figure triplets, especially identical, have got to be high value??). And the person who said, when you have more than one child, you have no favourite? Wrong. Very wrong. But luckily ours changes daily. Sometimes hourly.

Thus my patience levels are currently minimal, and my need for comfort food is high. The health kick hasn’t materialised, and ‘Dry January’? Ha ha ha ha ha. Bloody ha. So this dish, a mix between a stew and a satay, hit the spot perfectly. I only came across it recently (Pinterest. Obviously). Anything with peanut butter will catch my eye. I love it. Like, really love it. And this was good. It does taste a lot like a very saucy satay. If you like peanuts, I’d recommend giving this a go.

Ingredients

1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp oil
150g peanut butter (smooth or crunchy, it’s up to you)
300ml chicken stock
550g chicken thigh fillets (boneless & skinless)
3 tsp garlic puree / frozen garlic or 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tsp pureed ginger / frozen ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes (or to taste)
1 large sweet potato (about 450g)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
salt & pepper
approx. 40g roasted peanuts, chopped (optional)

I did take a photo of the ingredients, but once I’d actually made the stew there were a few added ingredients, and some changed, so it became a bit null and void. So sorry, no pic. It looks like a lot of ingredients, but it didn’t seem too bad once I was cooking.

1. Throw the onion into a large pan with the oil over a medium heat and cook until softened.

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2. Whilst the onion is cooking, spoon the peanut butter into a bowl, and cover it with the chicken stock. Slowly stir this until the peanut butter has dissolved into the stock.

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Top Tip: Use a bigger bowl than I did for this!

3. Once the onion is soft, add the garlic and ginger, cook for a couple of minutes, then add the chicken.

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I used chicken thigh for this dish as it has more flavour than chicken breast. But you could happily use chicken breast, not a problem.

4. Cook the chicken for about 5 minutes, then add the cayenne, cumin, coriander and chillies. Add as much chilli as you like, this is totally to your taste. And you can use fresh chilli, or Lazy Chilli, whatever you have in the cupboard. Or leave it out completely (although the creaminess of the peanut butter lends itself really well to a bit of a kick). Cook this for a few minutes.

5. Add in the sweet potato, tomatoes and peanut butter/stock mix.

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When I do this again (which I most definitely will), I think I’ll add more veg here – courgette, aubergine, pepper, mushrooms. In fact, you could make this completely veggie if you liked, just omit the chicken.

6. Put the lid on the pan and leave to simmer until the sweet potato is soft and the chicken cooked. Give it a stir every so often to stop it sticking to the bottom of the pan.

7. Once it was cooked I added in the chopped roasted peanuts to give it a bit of crunch. You could leave them out if you’d rather, or if you’ve used crunchy peanut butter. It just adds a bit of extra texture to the dish. Check the seasoning at this point. It probably won’t need much salt because of the peanut butter/roasted peanuts. But add a decent amount of pepper to give it some good pepperiness (an actual word).

I served the stew with rice and green veg, but it would also be lovely with cous cous, or flatbread/naan bread. We love curries/tagines in this house, and this fits into that mould perfectly. This served both of us, with two portions to freeze (it’s a pretty rich dish, so you don’t need masses).

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Funnily enough I didn’t attempt to feed this to the munchkins. If you can get your kids to eat food like this … wow. Just wow. The girls still eye rice with great suspicion.

Happy cooking!

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Author: Sarah Margetts

Busy mum of four, cooking up a storm.