From West Africa comes the inspiration for this chicken stew recipe featuring groundnuts (in the form of peanut butter). The fiery Scotch bonnet chilies are the ones preferred in West African and Caribbean cuisine, but they are not for the faint-hearted. Feel free to substitute less fearsome ones. This is definitely a stew with attitude.
- chicken thighs and drumsticks, about 8
- 2 teaspoons of ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons of sweet smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon of dried chili flakes
- olive oil
- 1 large onion
- 1 fresh Scotch bonnet chili
- 2 large aubergines
- 1 tablespoon of tomato purée
- 1¾ lbs / 800g ripe tomatoes
- 23 fluid ounces / 650ml fresh chicken stock
- 2 ounces / 56.7g smooth peanut butter (preferably no added salt or sugar)
- 5 carrots
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- handful of peanuts, roughly chopped, to garnish
Keep the chicken pieces on the bone and with the skin intact to get the best flavour.
Put the chicken pieces into a bowl then sprinkle over them the coriander, paprika, cayenne, a pinch of sea salt and a twist of black pepper, drizzle with oil, and then toss to make sure the meat is fully coated.
Cover with clingfilm and put it in the fridge for at least a couple of hours. Overnight is best.
When ready to cook, pre-heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / gas mark 6.
Spread the chicken pieces out in a single layer in a roasting tray and roast for around 45 minutes.
While that is in the oven, roughly chop the onions, deseed and finely chop the chili (if using Scotch bonnet take the usual care), cut the aubergines into large chunks, scrape and dice the carrots.
Put a large casserole dish on a medium heat, add some good dashes of oil, then add the onions, chili, aubergines and carrots. Cook for around 30 minutes, stirring regularly.
Then, stir in the tomato purée and add the chicken pieces from the oven.
Take the tray in which the chicken was roasted, add a little water, and scrape up everything left in the tray and add it to the casserole dish.
Roughly chop the tomatoes and add them to the casserole dish.
Pour in the stock.
Bring the contents of the casserole dish to the boil, then simmer gently with the lid off for around 60-65 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is tender.
After about 30 minutes of simmering, add the peanut butter as a lump to the centre of the stew and just let it melt in its own time.
Sprinkle the roughly chopped peanuts over the top as a garnish to each serving.
You can add more peanut butter than the amount suggested in the ingredients if you want more of that flavour.
Serve with white rice.
This is based on one of the most popular recipes of West Africa.