African Groundnut Stew

Whoa! What the heck is this?

Calm down, I just wanted to try something a little more exotic. Imagine a stew made from something akin to a Thai Sate peanut sauce and chicken with okra in it. You're getting warm, but you'll have to make it to know for sure!

2 tablespoons olive oil
6 boneless chicken breasts
1 3/4 tablespoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes, drained
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 3/4 cups water
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 10-ounce package frozen sliced okra

In a large pot, heat the oil over moderate heat. Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and black pepper. Cook until browned, turning, about 8 minutes in all. Remove. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the pot.

Reduce the heat to moderately low. Add the onion to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and then the tomatoes and cayenne. Return the chicken to the pot and stir in 2 cups of water. Bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 10 minutes.

Whisk together the peanut butter and the remaining 3/4 cup water until smooth. Add this mixture to the stew along with the okra and the remaining 11/2 tablesppons of salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook, partially covered, until the okra is just done, about 10 minutes.

Serve over rice.

This recipe turned out to be very flavorful and easy to make. It's a tad spicy--just about right if you like spicy food. If not, halve the Cayenne pepper measure! Like other stews, this dish freezes and keeps well, too. Save some for a rainy day.

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All material 2001-2003, Robert W. Warfield.