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West African Chicken and Peanut Stew

It’s unusual for Keith and I to be out on a walk after midnight. We’re 40 now, after all, and really need our beauty sleep. But last night was different, there was to be a meteor shower, a big one, from the tail of Hailey’s comet.

Our good friends were visiting from out of town and we spent the evening playing Texas Hold’em for terribly valuable wooden toothpicks, trying to stay awake for the promised celestial show. So at midnight we headed out for a walk, a pretty long walk, in the 33 degree air.

African Chicken and Peanut Stew

Stars winked at us from an ebony background; planets shimmered in blues and greens; the moon and clouds had the night off. We oohed and awwed, but saw not. a. single. shooting star. 

But I don’t mind. I love this time of year, when the chill is back and the sky is crisp. I love it partly because it makes me think of soup.

Have you had West African Chicken and Peanut soup before? Thank you Africa! It’s delicious – at once spicy, sweet, fresh, hearty, decadent. If the combination of ingredients seems strange, don’t worry. Please try it anyway – I promise you’ll love it.

(For a vegetarian version – this looks amazing!)


West African Chicken and Peanut Stew
When you make this, start at least 2 hours before plan to eat. There is not a lot of active time, but the stew needs time to simmer. If you prefer a vegetarian version of, swap in vegetable broth and perhaps kick up the spice.
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 large onion
  • 2-3 inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced (a microplane makes quick work of this)
  • 5 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed and diced (and peeled if you like)
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 1 cup chunky peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 28 ounce jar (or can) chopped tomatoes with juice
  • 14 ounce can coconut milk (light or full fat)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1 large handful of chopped cilantro
Instructions
  1. Heat coconut or olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add chicken thighs in a single layer and brown on both sides. You’ll want to do this in a couple of batches so they brown instead of steam. Remove chicken and set aside.
  2. Add onions to pot; cook and stir for 3-4 minutes scraping up any browned bits of chicken. Add ginger and garlic; cook and stir about 30 seconds, just until fragrant. Add the next 7 ingredients – sweet potatoes through tomatoes. Stir until well combined and peanut butter is distributed. Return chicken thighs to pot, stir, and bring to a simmer.
  3. Cover the pot and simmer gently for one hour. Remove the chicken thighs and set them aside for a few moments until they’re cool enough to handle. Use two forks to shred the meat and return to stew. Add coconut milk and stir to combine. Cover and simmer 15 minutes more.
  4. Add salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne (if you like some kick) to taste. Ladle in to individual soup bowls and garnish with peanuts and cilantro. Serves 8-10

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16 Responses to West African Chicken and Peanut Stew

  1. suzanna October 22, 2012 at 11:02 am #

    looks wonderful. I’m going to try it tonight!
    We’ve been enjoying Giovanna’s Ragu, as well. :))

    • Marissa October 30, 2012 at 10:13 am #

      awww, you are a sweet sister. xo

  2. Eileen October 22, 2012 at 11:15 am #

    This soup sounds great–so hearty & perfect for fall! I love the idea of using nuts in stews.

    • Marissa October 30, 2012 at 10:14 am #

      Me too – nuts add great crunch to stews, and stir frys, and cookies, and ….

  3. Giovanna October 24, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    I love autumn too … It’s a beautiful season full of colors and good soups! I have to try this, it sounds so great!

  4. savorysaltysweet October 26, 2012 at 12:01 pm #

    Oh, my WORD–this looks wonderful. The coconut, sweet potatoes…all of it. So lovely.

  5. OishiiTreats October 27, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

    There is nothing better than watching a meteor shower, good excuse for a walk after midnight :) Your photo of the peanut soup is gorgeous, can’t wait to try it for dinner this week :D

    • Marissa October 30, 2012 at 10:15 am #

      Hope you love it…

  6. Lorraine @ Not Quite NIgella October 28, 2012 at 12:43 am #

    I really want to make this now! It looks so rich and delicious :D I’m putting the ingredients on my shopping list now :)

    • Marissa October 30, 2012 at 10:16 am #

      When you say that, I believe you! + LOVE your Halloween party post. You’re a maniac!

      • Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella November 7, 2012 at 8:20 pm #

        Hi Marissa! A pot of this is bubbling away on my stove and it smells wonderful! :D I can’t until it finishes :D

  7. Paula @ Vintage Kitchen October 30, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    Everything about this soup is fantastic! Peanuts, coconut, chicken, spices.. I had heard something about it on tv, I think it was master chef, and this recipes is perfect Marissa! I love the kind of night you described, absolutely gorgeous!

  8. Krista November 9, 2012 at 7:29 am #

    Now that the weather is finally cooling off…I can’t wait to try this out. Just printed it off! Love the caricature :-)

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. West African Chicken & Peanut Stew @ Not Quite Nigella - November 27, 2012

    [...] going to suggest that you all have this dish for lunch, or dinner. I first saw this recipe on Marissa’s lovely blog, Pinch & Swirl. I had never heard of West African Chicken Peanut Stew but it looked fantastic. For those of you [...]

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