West African groundnut stew

West African groundnut stew

By
From
The Art Of The Larder
Photographer
Mike Lusmore

Groundnuts, or peanuts, feature often in West African cooking. Cooked with gingery tomato purée and spices, the accompanying peanut ‘broth’ has a mellow but fiery warmth. Serve with plain rice and chopped banana (trust me); the hard-boiled eggs are optional, but worth their weight in gold in this recipe.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
600g bone-in chicken thighs, skinned
1 teaspoon salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
5cm fresh ginger, finely grated
1 large onion, finely diced
1-2 teaspoons chilli flakes, to taste
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, toasted and ground
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 x 400g tin of plum tomatoes
200g peanut butter, smooth or crunchy and unsweetened
4 eggs, or as many as you want to cook (optional)

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
1-2 bananas, sliced into rounds
1 fresh red chilli, finely sliced
50g roasted salted peanuts, roughly chopped
a small bunch fresh coriander, leaves roughly chopped

Method

  1. Season the chicken with half the salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the chicken to the pan. Increase the temperature and stir well to ensure you seal the thighs on both sides. Once they are gently browned all over, remove and set to one side on a plate.
  2. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and fry the ginger, onion and chilli flakes until soft, about 8–10 minutes. Add the spices and 1 teaspoon of black pepper and cook until fragrant, for about 1 minute. Add the tomato purée and cook, stirring, until it begins to lightly caramelize, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the tinned tomatoes and the remaining salt and cook for about 10 minutes, to reduce a little, then stir in the peanut butter and return the chicken to the pan along with 700ml of water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the chicken is cooked through and tender.
  4. Meanwhile cover the eggs, if using, with cold water in a saucepan and bring to the boil – time the eggs for 6 minutes from coming to the boil, then remove from the heat and leave in the water until cool enough to peel. Add the eggs to the groundnut stew in the final 5 minutes of cooking time, to warm through in the peanut sauce.
  5. Remove from the heat and check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper where necessary. Serve the groundnut stew strewn with the sliced banana and chilli, peanuts and coriander.
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