Sunday, October 4, 2015

Senegalese Chicken and Peanut Stew

Senegalese_ from Senegal on the northwestern coast of Africa. Senegalese cuisine is a blend of local Wolof traditions and Portuguese and French colonists' influence. Chicken, lamb, beef, fish, eggs are used in cooking while pork is generally not served due to the large Muslim population. One of Senegal's primary crops is peanuts. Also grown are tomatoes, beans, black-eyed peas, rice, sweet potatoes, onions... and various other fruits and vegetables.

Last evening we had a roasted chicken for dinner, the majority of which remained and is perfect for this dish. We like the spice, the slight tartness of the lemon and the overall creamy quality. Rich and full bodied, there is nothing else required when you make this delicious stew unless you would like to add a crostini and a nice glass of white wine. We always look forward to the summer garden so additional vegetables can be added. Asparagus, spinach or kale, fresh cabbage... all come to mind, and last night my husband suggested digging and adding a few fresh parsnips. He is so clever.  

Senegalese Chicken and Peanut Stew from Diana's kitchen

1/4 cup unbleached flour
1 1/2 - 2 lbs cooked chicken, cut or torn into bite size chunks
2 TB butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 TB Curry powder
1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper
2 TB coconut oil
1 quart organic free range Chicken broth
1 quart diced (crushed) tomatoes with juice
3 carrots, sliced
2 small sweet potatoes, sliced thinly or red-skinned potatoes
1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 cup fresh spinach or kale, chopped (any tough stems discarded)
1/2 cup Peanut butter
zest of a lemon
1 can coconut milk
1 lemon, juiced
large handful cilantro, chopped
Salt and black pepper, if needed
roasted peanuts, garnish

Place the flour in a deep bowl or plastic bag; cut or tear the cooked chicken into chunks and toss with the flour until the chicken is coated.

Heat butter in a large Dutch oven, add onions, a sprinkle of salt and pepper, and sauté until translucent. Add garlic and cook several minutes longer. Add curry and cayenne, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Push everything to the side of the pot, add the coconut oil and heat to medium. Add the chicken and stir until it is coated with the oil. Bring the onions and garlic into the mixture and combine.

Add the chicken stock, and with the wooden spoon, scrape the bottom of the pot until all combined. Add the tomatoes, carrots, potatoes and chickpeas. Simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are done, and stir often to avoid any sticking. Add the spinach, stir in the peanut butter, lemon zest and coconut milk. Heat to combine. Taste, and add salt and pepper if needed. Finally add the lemon juice and cilantro, combine, and serve. Add roasted peanuts to the top of each bowl to garnish if preferred.

Crostini: Coarse bread and thinly sliced, brush extra virgin olive oil on both sides. Arrange slices on a cookie sheet. Bake until slightly brown, a few minutes on each side at 375 degrees F.

Cook's note: if you have added additional vegetables as we sometimes do, a bit more chicken stock may be necessary