Wednesday, February 29, 2012

African Peanut Stew

As I left work today, the clouds were so low and dark, I knew we were in for a storm. The wind nearly blew me over on my way to my car. I hadn't even left the parking garage before it started snowing hard. Since this winter has been one of the mildest I can remember, I was kind of surprised that it finally decided to be winter the last day of February when we had all given up on it and were getting excited for spring. Isn't that life.  Wintery nights like this just make me want to stay home, curl up on the couch with a bowl of a warm, hearty soup like this one and watch it snow.  A cooking blog I follow, called introduced me to this recipe, I have only changed it a little over time. I love how this stew has such a wonderful balance of spice, richness, savory and a little sweet with an African kick! (yes it is supposed to be spicy)

African Peanut Stew
2-3 lbs of chicken legs or thighs (not breasts... they really won't do it justice)
3 TBSP peanut oil (divided)
1 medium yellow or white onion, sliced
3 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
6-8 garlic cloves, chopped
2-3 lbs sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and cut into bite size chunks
1 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
4 C chicken broth
1 C peanut butter
1 C roasted peanuts (whole)
1 TBSP ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp black pepper
salt to taste
chopped cilantro to garnish

In a skillet, brown the outside of the chicken pieces in 1 1/2 Tbsp of oil. You don't have to cook them all the way through, they are going to spend lots of time cooking after this so just get the outside dark golden brown. It adds a nice dark flavor that you'll love.

In your soup pot, saute the onions for a few minutes in the rest of the oil, then include ginger and garlic and cook until they are fragrant. Add everything else except the cilantro. Put in the chicken legs/thighs (the whole thing: skin, bone and all) to the pot and bring to a boil. Simmer the whole concoction for at least 60 min. (90 min. if you can or I'm sure this would work on low for many hrs in a crock pot). You want to make sure the sweet potatoes are very tender and the meat wants to fall off the bone.

Remove the chicken pieces and let them get cool enough to touch with your hands. Discard the skin and  shred the meat off the bones and return it to the soup. Add in more salt, pepper or cayenne to you liking. Garnish with cilantro. Wow your dinner guests.

1 comment:

  1. This is a good, filling stew. It thickens up for a hearty meal. We didn't want too spicy, so we put less cayenne in and it still had a little kick, but not too much!