Monday, February 23, 2015

Chicken Peanut Stew

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I wanted to share this recipe with those of you who are still dealing with snow and frigid winter temperatures. I also think it will have some appeal to those of you who enjoy foods that are not on every one's radar. This simple dish is a riff on a peanut stew that commonly served in West Africa. Fortunately, the ingredients needed to make it can be found in any large supermarket and you can have it on the table in an hour without breaking a sweat. So, if you are at all tempted to make the stew, go for it. It is delicious and perfect to serve on a freezing winter day. I do, however, have a few cautions to share with you. The stew has some heat and that will be an immediate turn off to younger children. You'll also want to make sure that you do not serve it to anyone with peanut allergies. The stew can be made with rotisserie chicken, but if you decide to go that route, cut it into largish pieces. I've found these chickens, delicious though they may be, tend to shred when heated in a stew and I think you'll enjoy the dish more, if it has a chunky texture. I really like this stew and I think you will, too. Here is how it's made.

Peanut Chicken Stew...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Family Circle magazine

Sweet Potato Broth
1 medium onion, sliced
3 celery stalks, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
Olive oil
1 large sweet potato
5 whole cloves
3 cups chopped cooked chicken
1-1/2 cups natural peanut butter
1 (28-ounce)can diced tomatoes, drained, or 3 1/2 cups diced fresh tomatoes
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 quart Sweet Potato Broth
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped roasted unsalted peanuts
Salt and pepper

1) To make sweet potato broth: In a large stockpot, saute onion, celery, and carrot in a tablespoon or so of olive oil -- just enough to cover the bottom of your pot -- over low heat. Meanwhile, peel and quarter sweet potato. When onion has softened, after about 8 minutes, add sweet potato to pot along with 6 cups of water, cloves, and a little salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer until sweet potato is completely soft, about 30 minutes. Remove cloves, then puree mixture with an immersion blender. If not using immediately, let cool, then cover and refrigerate for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
2) To make chicken stew: Put chicken, peanut butter, tomatoes, curry powder, and cayenne in a medium pot and pour in sweet potato broth. Season with salt to taste. Simmer over medium heat until peanut butter is completely blended and stew has a thick, even consistency, about 20 minutes. Stir in lemon juice.
3) To serve: Ladle stew into bowls and serve, sprinkling the chopped nuts over top as a garnish. Yield: 6 to 8 servings.

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