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Author Notes: This dish is extremely popular across West Africa with many variations but all have a main base of peanut butter. In Sierra Leone, we call it groundnut stew or more precisely ‘granat stew’. This is one of the first dishes all Sierra Leoneans learn to cook. It was certainly the case in my household, because it is so quick and easy it is to make. So you like peanuts and you like chicken? Then combine the two in this full of flavour chicken peanut stew recipe —Bintu
teaspoon ground coriander (cilantro)
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
red bell peppers
scotch bonnet chillies
tablespoons vegetable oil
jumbo cube (optional, see notes)
tablespoons smooth peanut butter
tablespoons tomato puree
cups water (1 litre)
- Season the chicken pieces with coriander, salt and pepper and set aside.
- Peel and slice the onions and garlic.
- Deseed and chop peppers and scotch bonnet chillies.
- Heat 1.5 tbsp of oil in a non stick frying pot and quickly brown chicken pieces. You might have to do this in two or more batches as you don’t want to crowd the pieces in the pot. Remove pieces from the pan and set aside on a plate.
- Heat the remaining oil in the pot and throw in the onions, garlic, scotch bonnet, bay leaves and 6 tbsp of water and stir very well. Fry for about 5 minutes until the mixture very fragrant. (Take note of this fragrance as this is what I call the real salone food smell).
- Throw in the red pepper, stir it and fry the mixture covered for another 5 minutes. Then add in the peanut butter, tomato puree, jumbo cube and stir fry quickly for 30 seconds until these are both mixed in.
- Add in the browned chicken pieces and the water, bring to the boil, reduce and simmer for about 50 minutes. Stir the mix a couple of times during the 50 minutes as the peanut butter could settle at the bottom of the pot.
- Taste stew and adjust salt and pepper and then turn off.
- Serve with rice (plantains or bread) and garnish with nuts, herbs and spring onions.
- Notes - The peanut stew foams up during boiling, so you need to reduce it to a simmer as soon as it starts to boils. Jumbo cube (or maggi cube) is a stock cube used to flavour food in Sierra Leone. It can be bought in a lot of shops selling ethnic food. If you dont want to use a jumbo cube then omit it and replace the water with some stock.