Peanut Stew is a staple of African cuisine and wow is it ever delicious! In this Ghanaian recipe, Chicken and sweet potatoes are simmered in creamy peanut butter broth, flavored with ginger, garlic and a kick of cayenne.
No thickeners are needed in this stew because it gets a rich creamy texture from the peanut butter and the sweet potatoes that partially melt into the sauce. It's naturally dairy free and gluten free, a nice bonus.
Many of us think of stews as winter fare, but the people of Ghana don't need cold weather to be inspired to cook a rich and spicy stew. Despite their tropical climate, stews are among their most common dishes. The Ghanaian name for this peanut stew is Hkatenkwan, which translates as ground-nut stew. The ground nuts, in the form of creamy peanut butter, create a rich and irresistible savory broth.
How to make West African Peanut Chicken Stew
Chicken thighs or legs, on the bone, are browned in oil, then stewed low and slow with the rest of the ingredients: onions, garlic, ginger, sweet potatoes, crushed tomatoes, chicken broth and cayenne pepper. At the end, the tender chicken meat is removed from the bone, shredded and returned to the pot. The bones add great flavor and nutrients to the stew.
- Season bone-in skinless chicken thighs or legs and brown them in oil, in batches, for a few minutes per side.
- Remove the chicken from the pot and add the garlic, ginger and onions. Sauté those for a few minutes (enjoying the incredible aromas) and then add the chicken back to the pot, along with the cubed sweet potatoes, crushed tomatoes, cayenne pepper and 4 cups of chicken broth. In a bowl, whisk 1 cup of creamy peanut butter with the remaining two cups of chicken broth, then pour the mixture into the stew pot and bring the stew up to a boil. Immediately lower the heat to a simmer and cook the stew, uncovered, for an hour, or until the chicken is very tender. remove the chicken pieces from the pot, pull the meat from the bone, shred it and return it to the pot. Done!
To serve, ladle the stew into bowls and garnish with plenty of chopped cilantro and peanuts.
If you like this recipe, you might also enjoy these other chicken stews from across the globe
- Jamaican Curried Chicken Stew with mango
- Korean Chicken Stew with Spinach
- Moroccan Chicken Stew with Sweet Potatoes, Apricots and Kale
Here's the recipe for West African Peanut Stew with Chicken and Sweet Potatoes. If you try this recipe I hope you'll come back to leave a star rating and a comment. I'd love to know what you think!Print
West African Peanut Stew with Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
A sweet, savory, rich, mildly spicy stew from Ghana, with chicken and sweet potatoes simmered in peanut butter broth flavored with ginger, garlic and cayenne pepper.
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins
- Yield: 6-7 1x
- Category: Main Dish
- Method: simmer
- Cuisine: Ghanaian
- 4-5 pounds skinless chicken parts, legs and thighs are best, with bones
- 4 tablespoons cooking oil such as light olive oil or canola, divided
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 medium yellow onions, roughly chopped
- 4 large garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh ginger (from a 2-3-inch piece)
- 6 cups peeled ½-inch-cubed sweet potato (about 3 large)
- 2 cups (16 ounces) canned crushed tomatoes.
- ¾ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 6 cups low-salt chicken broth, divided
- 1 cup creamy natural peanut butter at room temperature
- 1 bunch cilantro, thick stems removed, washed and chopped for garnish
- ½ cup chopped peanuts, optional garnish
- Rinse chicken parts, pat dry, season with salt and pepper, to taste. Heat oil (2 tablespoons) in a large stew pot or dutch oven till hot, but not smoking. Brown the chicken over medium-high heat in batches, (4-5 pieces at time) about 3 minutes per side. Once chicken is browned, set it aside.
- Pour 2 additional tablespoons of oil into the pot and add the onions, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring, until fragrant and somewhat softened, about 3 minutes. Return chicken to pot. Add the cubed sweet potatoes, tomatoes (2 cups), cayenne pepper (¾ teaspoon), and only 4 cups (out of 6) of chicken broth.
- In a bowl, whisk the peanut butter (1 cup) with the other two cups of broth. When fully combined, pour the mixture into the stew pot. Bring the to a boil, reduce heat to a steady low simmer and cook, uncovered , for 1 hour, or until chicken is tender and falling off the bone.
- Remove stew from heat. Using tongs, lift chicken pieces out of stew, remove meat from bones and shred. You won't need the bones for this recipe. Return shredded chicken to stew pot. Season stew with salt and fresh pepper, to taste.
- Ladle stew into shallow bowls. Garnish generously with cilantro and peanuts (optional). Enjoy!
[This post first appeared on Panning The Globe in October 2012. It was updated in May 2020 with all new photos, clarifying details in the written post and clearer instructions in the recipe.]
Nutrition Information: The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and is not a substitute for the advice of a professional nutritionist.
Keywords: peanut chicken stew with sweet potatoes