Groundnut or peanut soups and stews are extremely popular in the cooking of Ghana and Mali in West Africa, where it’s called Hkatenkwan. In fact, some consider African Chicken Peanut & Spinach Stew to be one of the most popular of all Sunday meals. Chicken is usually the preferred meat, but a variety of meats and seafood can also be used, including beef, lamb, smoked fish and crabs. This hearty and delicious stew is full of intoxicating flavours, robust enough for a satisfying meal on its own, or served with some steamed rice for a delicious dinner anytime of the year.
West African Chicken Peanut & Spinach Stew
Recipe courtesy Hank Shaw, Simply Recipes
2-3 lb chicken thighs
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, sliced
3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced
6-8 garlic cloves, chopped roughly
2-3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 15 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups coconut milk
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup roasted peanuts
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp cayenne
1 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp Tabasco or hot chilli sauce
Salt and black pepper
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup chopped spinach
Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot set over medium-high heat. Dry the chicken pieces well, then salt and brown them in the oil, setting the chicken aside as they brown.
Sauté the onions in the oil for 3-4 minutes, stirring often and scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes, then add the sweet potatoes and stir well to combine.
Add the chicken, chicken broth, coconut milk, crushed tomatoes, peanut butter, peanuts, coriander, cayenne, curry powder and stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer and salt to taste. Cover the pot and simmer gently for 90 minutes, or until the chicken meat easily falls off the bone and the sweet potatoes are tender.
Once cooked, remove the chicken pieces and set them in a bowl until cool enough to touch, then remove and discard the skin. Pull the meat off the bones and place the meat back in the pot, along with the chopped spinach. Adjust the seasonings and stir in the cilantro. Serve the stew by itself, or with simple steamed rice.