Love/Hate

…..are the sentiments shared by my husband and I for a dish called African chicken.  He loves to eat it, I hate to make it.  This is a classic chicken dish in Africa made with tomato and peanut sauce.  The combination of spices, herbs, veggies and sauce really makes this dish unique.  It is quite rich and very creamy with a bit of a kick.  Definitely not a dish that you can have every week.  Thank goodness because it contains a million ingredients, involves a lot of chopping and takes hours to make.  This dish should be saved for the special occasions (birthdays, Valentine’s day, etc) or when you have 3 hours to spare for cooking.

The colourful ingredients.

Another hit from The Oprah Magazine Cookbook.

What’s your love/hate dish?

Recipe (adapted from The Oprah Magazine Cookbook):

Spice rub

  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper

Chicken

  • 4 pounds bone-in chicken pieces, skin removed
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil

Peanut sauce

  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1/2  red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 medium carrot, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp finely diced and seeded jalapeño chili
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2  tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 tsp dried)
  • 1/2 tsp peeled, grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup well-mixed coconut milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp finely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley, for garnish
  1. In a small bowl, stir together the spice rub ingredients and rub onto both sides of chicken pieces.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
  3. Working in batches, add half the chicken and brown on all sides, taking care not to burn the spices (2-3 minutes on each side).
  4. Transfer browned pieces to a platter and set aside.
  5. Brown remaining chicken and transfer to platter.
  6. With a paper towel, wipe skillet dry; then add remaining 2 tbsp oil.
  7. Add onion, red and green bell peppers, carrot, garlic, and jalapeño chili. Cook until vegetables are soft (~5 minutes).
  8. Add chicken broth and simmer until reduced by half (~20 minutes).
  9. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir in remaining sauce ingredients and simmer 2 minutes.
  10. Return browned chicken to skillet.
  11. Cook 25-30 minutes  or until chicken is tender and cooked through, stirring frequently to prevent sauce from sticking.
  12. Turn chicken pieces over midway through cooking time.
  13. Garnish with parsley.

Notes and Tips:

To save time, chop vegetables the night before and store in the fridge.  Also, brown the chicken on one skillet and at the same time start making the sauce on another.  I usually prepare 6 chicken thighs (skin on) with the stated amount of spice rub and all 6 pieces can be browned in  one batch.  Also, I half the amount of chicken broth, peanut butter, tomato paste, thyme, coconut milk, salt and black pepper for the sauce, but keep the amount for the rest of the sauce ingredients the same.  You will still end up with plenty of sauce, but have extra veggies.  Serrano pepper can be used in place of jalapeño for an added kick.

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6 thoughts on “Love/Hate

  1. isn’t peanut sauce AMAZING? i made some the other day & i’m still trying to find other things to possibly dip into it. so delicious! i have this cookbook as well but i’ve never tried any of the recipes. i wanna do the crab cake that’s in there!

    • yes, i normally only like peanut butter on toast, but this sauce is GOOD! the Moroccan chicken and spicy shrimp with basil in the cookbook is pretty good too. haven’t tried the crab cakes yet.

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  5. I have to say that this is far more involved than the typical African peanut stew that many eat back home. If your hubby likes the peanut flavoring, Google peanut stew and make him one of the easy versions. I make a mean one with hot Jamaican peppers. 🙂
    Love your blog and glad you stopped by mine! 🙂
    Eliz

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