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a white bowl filled with peanut chicken stew with sweet potatoes, garnished with chopped cilantro

West African Peanut Stew with Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

  • Author: by Lisa
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 mins
  • Yield: 6-7 1x


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.


  • 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 1/2-inch-cubed sweet potato (about 3 large)
  • 2 cups (16 ounces) canned crushed tomatoes.
  • 3/4 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
  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts, optional garnish


  1. 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.
  2. 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 (3/4 teaspoon), and only 4 cups (out of 6) of chicken broth.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: simmer
  • Cuisine: Ghanaian

Keywords: peanut chicken stew with sweet potatoes