Feb 15, 2010

Chicken Palava (African peanut stew)

Chicken Palava

I have a pretty special (and simple) dinner recipe for you. Not so special you can’t whip it up during any given weeknight, but it’s a fun recipe. It’s different, and that’s exactly what we need now and then.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while now, it won’t come as a surprise to you that I’m a serious peanut-o-holic. I love anything peanut, and simply have to try every recipe that includes some form of peanut (butter). And anything bacon, but that’s a different posting all together. Bottom-line; I’m weak and proud of it. Don’t tell me you’re any different. I won’t buy into it!


It’s why I came up with my peanut flavored potatoes, and several other recipes calling for peanut butter. But one of my favorites—though the photos are pretty darn bad—will always be my Ghanaian peanut soup. This Chicken Palava is also a peanut based African recipe that will blow you away. If you like the soup, then you will surely like this one as well.  

I realize what a big leap it is from the iron pots and wooden spoons type of food in Ghana to my Le Creuset in Dutch suburbia, but seriously guys, I’m taking you to Africa with me!  

Ingredients:   

1 pound chicken fillet
1 pretty large onion
1 large red bell pepper
2 large garlic cloves
2 big, juicy tomatoes
1/2 pound fresh spinach
4 tbsp (peanut) oil
1 tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp chili powder (hot)
1/2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp dried thyme”
5 tbsp peanut butter
2 cups chicken broth
extra brown sugar
pepper
salt   



Directions:   

Somehow I always find myself using the same basic ingredients such as onion, bell pepper, garlic etc. I’m pretty sure I don’t have to show you for the umpth time how to dice an onion, peel tomatoes, grate garlic and chop stuff, so I just turn this…
 Chicken Palava   

….into this. There. All done.
Chicken Palava   

Cut the chicken into tiny cubes. Remember the yellow cutting board I had? It died on me. And for the life of me, I can’t seem to find a new one. So I just wrote “Kip” (meaning chicken) on a red one, and that makes it okay to use the red one for chicken. See, I do have a logical system. I really do!  
Chicken Palava   

Don’t you love big storyboards? I just saved your finger a 10-photo scrolling trip. Combine the oil with the sesame oil, pinch of salt, loads of pepper, chili powder (the hot version), dried thyme, ground ginger, brown sugar and garlic.   
Chicken Palava   

Mix it with the chicken and let it marinade for 15 minutes while you move on with the recipe.
Chicken Palava   

This is so hard-core! I steered clear from the prewashed stuff and bought fresh spinach at the market. Okay, so I was just testing my new salad spinner, but still. Wash and dry 1/2 a pound spinach. I tend to remove the long stalks because they freak out my kid. I prefer using the leaves whole, but you can give them a chop as well.  
Chicken Palava   

No need to add oil to the pan since the marinade contained oil. Cook the chicken until it loses its rawness and add the onion and bell pepper. Cook everything for 5 more minutes.   
Chicken Palava   

Spoon the peanut butter in there, pour in the chicken broth and add the tomatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer, over low heat, for 20 to 25 minutes without the lid on.   
Chicken Palava   

After 20 minutes the sauce will have cooked down and thickened a bit. Season with salt, pepper, chili powder and brown sugar to taste. Stir in the spinach and as soon as it wilts, turn off the heat. Told you it was a simple recipe.   
Chicken Palava   

This one covers all the bases: chicken, vegetables and peanut. How can it not be good? Serve with lots of rice, eat and be happy. Hakuna Matata!

Chicken Palava



Kay’s Recipe Card

Click here for printable size.

Chicken Palava
Ingredients
  • 1 pound chicken fillet
    1 pretty large onion
    1 large red bell pepper
    2 large garlic cloves
    2 big, juicy tomatoes
    1/2 pound fresh spinach
    4 tbsp (peanut) oil
    1 tsp sesame oil
    1/4 tsp chili powder (hot)
    1/2 tsp ground ginger
    2 tsp brown sugar
    1/2 tsp dried thyme”
    5 tbsp peanut butter
    2 cups chicken broth
    extra brown sugar
    pepper
    salt
Directions
  1. Dice the onion and bell pepper, grate the garlic and peel and dice the tomatoes. Cut the chicken into tiny cubes or strips. Combine the oil with the sesame oil, pinch of salt, loads of pepper, chili powder (the hot version), dried thyme, ground ginger, brown sugar and garlic, mix it with the chicken and let it marinade for 15 minutes while you move on with the recipe.

    Wash and dry 1/2 a pound spinach. Cook the chicken until it loses its rawness and add the onion and bell pepper. Cook everything for 5 more minutes. Spoon the peanut butter in there, pour in the chicken broth and add the tomatoes. Bring to a boil and simmer, over low heat, for 20 to 25 minutes without the lid on.

    After 20 minutes the sauce will have cooked down and thickened a bit. Season with salt, pepper, chili powder and brown sugar to taste. Stir in the spinach and as soon as it wilts, turn off the heat.
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Jan 18, 2010

Curly Kale Hodgepodge (with a twist)

It’s time for hearty, honest and slightly less fattening food! At least for my thighs it is. Here’s a family favorite for your winter hodgepodge collection. You can never have enough of them! It’s a traditional hodgepodge with a slight Kayotic twist. Slight being the understatement of the year. If you don’t like salami, skip this one. Big part of the flavor that makes this hodgepodge so special comes from salami….