Your comment may need to be approved before it will appear on the site. Thanks for waiting. First time commenting? Please review the Comment Policy.
I’ve made this three times so far and it is phenomenal! I don’t bother shredding the chicken- I just cook it until it’s falling apart and I poke the meat off with a fork as I eat it. I don’t skip browning the chicken because the skin is delicious and it gives up some tasty fat to cook the onions in.
The only thing I do differently is I add the sweet potatoes partway through cooking as they get very soft. However, even if your potatoes get too soft it’s still delicious! Make sure your chicken is really falling off the bone and you won’t be disappointed.
Excellent recipe! I’ve made this several times in the past month, and everyone I serve it to feels greatly nourished! I add a bit of extra fresh ginger and peanut butter. Sooooo… good!
Very good! I’ve made this several times now. Don’t be afraid of the peanut butter and peanuts! It all comes together beautifully. I’m a busy mom with a toddler, so I’m all about cooking from scratch BUT saving time where possible. I bought pre-cubed sweet potato, and I halved the recipe which still makes more than enough for the fourth of it. I also agree with some others that it’s not necessary to brown the chicken first. I also think you can get boneless chicken without missing out on anything, and that makes it much easier to chop or shred and add back to the pot. However, I do recommend thights or dark meat instead of breasts/white meat. It just adds some extra flavor and richness. As I have IBS and my daughter has Crohn’s, we leave out the cayenne and it still has plenty of flavor for us. Great with Basmati rice. Thanks!
When I was a child in Ghana and Nigeria you could buy the roasted peanuts done on a griddle over a wood fire by the side of the road. At home we used to toast them under the grill for a few minutes.
I still prefer them to the prepared “roasted” peanuts sold in packets. Try it. Only a couple of minutes or less or they burn. They also used to do bananas on the same griddle.
My parents would never let me have any of the groundnut stew.
Someone please help me! :-( I really wanted to love this stew but unfortunately I burned it. I got so confused by the instructions when it said to bring it to a simmer and then let it simmer gently. I’m pretty sure that I turn the heat up too high and then triedto take it down to the lowest setting but it was too late. Ughh!
I was able to salvage a good deal of it and boy was it delicious! I definitely want to make this again but I need more clarity on what setting to get it to simmer (shouldn’t I see small bubbles?) and then at what setting to let it simmer gently. Please advise. Thanks!
Hi, Kandi! Emma here, managing editor. Yes, it sounds like you had the heat turned up a little too high under your soup! So sorry that it burned! Next time, adjust the heat to medium-low or even low (each stovetop is different) and continue adjusting as needed so that you see just a little bit of bubbling around the edges of the pan. The bubbles should be very small. If the soup is boiling or you see big bubbles or a lot of movement on the surface of the soup, turn the heat down lower. Hope this helps!
Is it important to use plain roasted peanuts rather than dry roasted peanuts? The dry roasted ones I am thinking of are coated in paprika, garlic, turmeric, cinnamon etc. Would that interfere with the other flavours or would it work well? thanks.
Hi Mina, I would use the plain roasted peanuts rather than introducing different flavors into the stew.
Oh muh gosh. This was so so good. I didn’t brown the chicken (I sorta hate browning things that end up in liquid) and it was still deeeeelicious. Thank you for posting, Elise and thank you, Hank, for the recipe.
I’m so glad you liked it Shea!
I’m lazy, and don’t brown the chicken, either. I braise it in a covered dutch oven at 350 degree F for an hour. It makes its own liquid, which I pour off and chill. I peel off the schmalz, then use that to saute the veggies. Then I cook the veggies and spices in the liquid, before adding back the shredded chicken. It takes more elapsed time, but to me it’s easier and neater than fishing the chicken out of the soup pot.
My oven is broken now, so no braising. I browned the thighs while I was chopping veggies, so it was no big deal. I cooked everything together until the meat was falling off the bone, and left the bones in the stew. I can’t taste the difference, and this is less fuss , even with the browning. Who needs an oven? :D
Can I use a packet of peanuts. And blend them
Can you freeze this dish
Hi, Jean! Emma here, managing editor for Simply Recipes. Sure, I think you could make your own homemade peanut butter for this recipe. I think that would be quite good, actually. I’d recommend using roasted UNsalted peanuts, if you can find them — make the peanut butter and then add salt to taste. I fear it would end up too salty otherwise. And yes, this dish would freeze quite well. Let us know how it turns out!
I make this for my family when I go home. I like natural peanut butter in this and I can’t get it at my sister’s supermarket. I use a package of roasted, salted Spanish peanuts, and it comes out great–just don’t add salt until you test for seasonings at the end of cooking. (It’s easier to get the peanuts the right consistency in a food processor than a blender.)
Everyone likes this so much, I’ve only been able to freeze some once. It tastes just fine, but the consistency changes. The emulsion breaks, so it’s more soupy and less creamy. You can restore the emulsion by rewarming, straining the solids from the liquid, and hitting the pot with an immersion blender.
I made it last night but after only 45 minutes the sweet potatoes got completely overcooked. 90 min is way to much! To be honest, I expected something different. I ate a couple of times this kind of dish with my friends from Uganda but their dish was more delicious… Something was missing. Maybe it was my fault ;)
Made this with chicken thighs, myself and my husband loved it. Didn’t put cilantro in it though.
We love this and make it all the time!
Best recipe on this site… and that is saying something. It is the best flavor I’ve ever experienced.
why cook it so long? brigitte
Hi Brigitte, you cook the stew a long time at a low simmer to give the chicken ample time to completely fall apart, for the other ingredients to cook through, and for the stew ingredients and flavors to meld together.
I did not care for this dish. Which is a shame b/c I was really looking forward to eating this for the week & it got such rave reviews. I didn’t alter the recipe & the final product looked identical to the photos above. The flavor was just did not go well. initially, the taste struck me as odd. I did give it a chance and ate 1/2 a bowl but by the end. I just couldn’t finish. It’s just not for me. :(
It is a great recipe. I made it using a whole chicken cut up and added chopped raw spinach at the end and let it wilt in the sauce – beautiful and delicious. And I like t spicy, so doubled the cayenne and added some very good hot sauce.
This recipe looks amazing and I cannot wait to try it! I have one to share that appears very similar but I make as more of thick goulash. I found it in one of my favorite cookbooks from childhood- Cafe Beaujolais cookbook by Margaret Fox. You may appreciate the recipe!
1- medium chicken chopped (I sometimes sue chicken breast only)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp Cayenne
2 TB olive oil
5- medium onions chopped
3 cloves of garlic minced
6- large tomatoes chopped
2TB tomato paste
2 cups of chicken broth (or as much to add desired consitency.)
1 1/2 cups of peanut butter
saute chicken and onions and garlic for 15 minutes, add tomatoes (sauce for additional 5 minutes, then mix all together and stir constantly over medium heat. Adjust flavors as needed. You can sub tofu for chicken as well. I usually make two batches.
Garnish with chopped peanuts and cilantro.
serve on warm rice.
So, I’ve never tasted this, but I made it, and gambled on making some alterations. I do like spicy well rounded flavors, and I’m not too crazy about peanuts. However, it came out delightful, I’m definitely making it again, many many times.
I used red onion, sauteed in red palm oil, along with garlic slivers and chopped sweet peppers. I added 2 more teaspoons of Indian chili powder, I tbsp smoked paprika and instead of peanut butter I used ground peanuts (I accidentally bought peanuts). I made a sauce blending tomato, peanut powder, cumin, coriander, chili pepper paste, garlic, salt. I also added rutabaga, carrot and parsnip along with the sweet potato. I cooked on low in slow cooker for 4 hours. The flavor was divine.
LOVE!! My all time favorite. I first had this soup at a restaurant and had to learn how to make it for myself. This recipe is by far the best and easiest to make. It makes enough to have leftovers for the week. I’m not a fan of sweet potatoes I use russet potatoes. I’m making it as I comment. I’m waiting the 90 minutes simmer right now. The Aromas are amazing and my mouth is watering..
Followed this almost to the letter and it’s one of the best dishes you’ll ever make. Everyone I’ve cooked this for or recommended the recipe to has absolutely loved it. I’ve been making this for over five years and never had a negative comment. Eat with rice, chunky bread and butter or completely on it’s own. I truly feel sorry for anyone that hasn’t tried this recipe. If anyone has a better recipe I’d love to hear of it, but I won’t hold my breath.
Browned my meat in bacon grease, no skin, in my cast iron. Used a little broth to get the brown yummy bus it if pan and added to put. Also sautéed the onions in a little bacon grease.
Topped onions with the sweet potatoes, then chicken, then everything else..in my Instant pot.
Set it to manual 45 minutes.
let it come off pressure naturally.
took meat out, pulled off any fat and veins, and bones. returned meat to put, have it a stir and served… yum
I made this in the pressure cooker this evening and it is delicious. Browned the chicken in the bottom of the pressure cooker, proceeded with the recipe, then instead of simmering for 90 minutes I left it at pressure for 30. I let the pressure drop naturally but only because I was doing dishes and not in a rush.
Made this tonight, it’s an excellent recipe, thank you! I used one small sweet potato & the rest small red potatoes and I liked the balance. I don’t love sweet potatoes in soups, so this was a good modification for my tastes. It makes a TON, which is great because I’m in need of lunches for work. I don’t love the actual peanuts in the stew, next time I’ll put them in the food processor to break them down a bit.
Hands down my favourite recipe to cook. Plus it’s super cost effective and absolutely brilliant for keeping in the freezer for a quick weekday meal. I must admit that I’m a bit to lazy to follow it step-by-step but it still works out amazing every time without fail.
This dish is AMAZING!!!!!
I’ve made it twice in less than a week.
I add 2/3 onions to start, then 1/3 later for more onion.
I also add (in lieu of salt…near the end)..a stick of butter…BOOYAH!
Wow! This is a great recipe. Our whole family enjoyed every bite. Thanks for posting it.
I love this recipe, not only because it’s fabulously tasty, but also because of its versatility. You can swap out regular potatoes for sweet, add carrot chunks, and even add butternut squash if you prefer, or greens, like kale. I use less peanut butter than what is called for, as my husband is not the biggest fan – and it still turns out phenomenally well. Thank you!.
I love the idea of adding greens – but do you put them in at a later time to avoid overcooking? Am thinking of using a pressure cooker for this, but it would be more complicated to add stuff in the middle. I’m a pressure cooker newbie too, so advice would be appreciated. Glad to see other people making this recipe work with the instant pot!
I also add greens…at the end of cooking.
Specifically this is a Nigerian Pea nut stew. We Ghanaians only make pea nut soup and its made in a completely different way. I feel the term African Pea nut stew is misleading for those who do not know the cultural difference.
I’ve made this and it’s wonderful. I blend most of it coarsely instead of leaving chunks just before adding the chicken back in. Using a crock pot is lovely too
This recipe is RIDICULOUSLY good. I did not change a thing and it turned out wonderful, so I have made it over and over. Everyone who eats it LOVES it. It is a little labor intensive, but SO worth it.
A favorite of all the online recipes I have tried. Made it tonight for a new flame :). Was a HIT!
Thanks for sharing the recipe.
This has become a favorite of mine. I cheat, however, and use a rotisserie chicken. Pull the meat off and use the bones to make a chicken stock. Follow the rest of the recipe and just had chicken at the end. It is so good. Today I will try it in a crock pot. Thanks for the recipe!
Yes, I’m half Ghanaian and my mom used to always cook this. The idea of sweet potato in it is putting me off a bit. I’ll try it with regular potatoes instead perhaps or just leave them out, serving it with white rice.
For a richer chicken stock, you might want to ask your butcher for chicken feet. Wash and stew these down and save the stock (freeze it iin 1 qt freezer bags and store in your freezer) to add to whatever chicken stew you happen to be making.
Hi Clara, agreed! We also have a great recipe for making stock with chicken feet here: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/how_to_make_stock_from_chicken_feet/
Thank you! I hadn’t seen that post. I always did it the way my mom did. We raised our own chickens and when the hens stopped laying, they became stew chicken. When we were little we would chase each other around the yard holding chicken feet and moving the toes so they looked alive in order to scare the even younger brothers and sisters (there were ten of us, and I was the oldest) I always thought Mama was cutting the claws for the same reason we cut our fingernails; they get dirty scratching around in the yard.
Oh, my. What a great idea, Clara, thank you. <3
I tried this recipe today and didn’t really care for it. I hadn’t eaten a peanut butter based dish before and found that it dominated the taste much more than I expected. Sorry to post a negative comment but I figure that you might appreciate the honesty.
I’d like to try it again with a modified recipe with an alternative to the peanut butter and peanuts.
Do you have any suggestions?
Thanks in advance!
The 1960s version, before you could get yams or sweet potato here in the UK, was more reductus yet: my father learned it in the 1940s in the Gold Coast. He started with just raw peanuts, which he shelled and very slowly cooked down to a greyish pottage, and then picked up here. Other more modern versions include sliced red and green peppers, peanut butter, in a Caribbean derivative, coconut milk.
The problem’s always been keeping the cartilage and small bones from the chicken out of the soup, I’ve heard of some cooks boiling the birds in a bag in the soup before cutting.
Hi Elise, I have the leftovers of a roast chicken that i’d like to make for dinner tonight. Have you ever tried to use this kind of meat for the stew? I’m guessing it would work- though the flavor wouldn’t be as deep – to take the meat off the bone and add to the pot 1/2 an hour before it’s done. I’d welcome your expertise!
Hi MaryAlecia, I have not, but if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you!
Hi Elise, this recipe sounds gorgeous; we love sweet potatoes, and I sometimes make a similar enough, though vegetarian, spicy sweet potato & peanut soup which has carrots and peppers. In my experience though the sweet potatoes do not take very long to soften, how do you avoid them turning to mush after 90 minutes?
I don’t. I remove the solids at the end of cooking, hit the pot with an immersion blender, then return everything to the pot. It may not be traditional, but the result is deliciously creamy. ;)
This recipe has been a favorite in our house for years. My daughter would request it on days when she had her braces tightened and wanted a “soft food dinner”. I’ve made it in a Dutch oven, crock pot and pressure cooker, and it turns out great every time. Last night, I made a ‘deconstructed’ version, by roasting the sweet potatoes, cutting the ‘stew’ down to a pan sauce and simmering the chicken thighs in it after browning, and making a pesto out of the peanuts and cilantro. It was a big hit! Thanks for such a great recipe and a wonderful blog.
When you’ve used a crock pot, do you remember how long and at what setting you cooked it?
I’ve used the crock pot on both low (6-8 hrs) and high (4hrs), both versions I used 6 boneless skinless thighs. In the Instant Pot pressure cooker, I used the Poultry setting, after searing the thighs on the Sautè setting. Hope that helps!
Thank you, I was trying to make the Instant Pot conversions in my head!
thanks for tip – i was wondering if it could be done in the Instant Pot too.
Very yummy. I simplified by using boneless chicken and added it after sautéing the onions and cooking it covered on low-medium heat over an hour. Added chopped kale during the last 15 min which worked great! Somewhat healthier version but still very tender! Thanks for another inspirational recipe Elise!
Made this recipe last night for a dinner with close friends. It was so yummy and warmed all of our souls. Thank you.
This is a solid dish. I made it two months ago, took two weeks to eat it all. Found muself craving it again which is rare. Family loved it too. Will keep coming back to this dish
I’m so glad you liked it Ryan!
Has anyone pureed the stew rather than leaving the chunks?
Almost always. It’s divine!
Hello! Would this recipe work with a slow cooker? I don’t think I have a stock pot big enough, but maybe if I brown the meat in a pan and reserve the drippings? Just wondering thank you!
Hi Jen, I haven’t tried making it in a slow cooker, but if you do, please let us know what you do and how it turns out for you!
Absolutely love this combination of flavors! Will certainly be making this recipe again. It makes me want to play with spices. Just like your wonderful Mulligatawny woke-up my latent desire for curry, this wonderful recipe has me wanting to buy some fresh coriander and cayenne! (Who knows when I bought the spices that I was using!?! ) I want to try them on some classics now, like baked potatoes/sweet potatoes and potato salad. And of course, to have them on hand for when I make this vibrant recipe, again!
If I am using chicken breast instead of thighs, do you think 2 breasts would be adequate? Thank you.
Hi Julie, it depends on how big the chicken breasts are. You’ll need at least 1 1/2 pounds.
I made this using 2 boneless/skinless breasts and 4 chicken legs. It was plenty of chicken for the dish.
This. Was. So. Good. Was ready to lick the bowl clean. Perfect for our wet, cold winter here in Pacific NW. Improvised with what hubs and I had at home, butternut squash and potatoes as well as ghee.
I took some liberties to simplify the cooking steps based on Indian curry techniques- first, OK to saute the onion w ginger, garlic mixture before adding the chicken and other ingredients. Also have tried the same recipe w pork shoulder and it was DELICIOUS- my whole family raved about this version! Also instead of sweet potato I have substituted everything from kale to cauliflower. All so delicious! Nuts and Curry and tender meat and veggies are always a winning combination!
I am currently enjoying this amazing dish. Turned out wonderfully!! It is just the right amount of sweet and savory. My entire family loves it and I will be making it again! I used boneless chicken thighs and left out the cayenne pepper mostly because I didn’t have any on hand. I just shredded the chicken with two forks right in the pot. I’m going to get my second serving!!
Great Mollie, I’m so glad you liked it!
Do you think this could be made without peanuts? What other nuts and nut butters do you think would have a good depth of flavor?
Good question Jessi. The recipe is essentially a peanut stew with chicken. You might try looking at the Persian Fesejan recipe on the site, which is a chicken stew made with walnuts and pomegranate molasses, it’s wonderful! http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/fesenjan_persian_chicken_stew_with_walnut_and_pomegranate_sauce/
Cashews and cashew butter are also delicious!
I made this recipe tonight and it was delicious!
I really hope you find this question: I have a jar of Almond Butter that has pretty much solidified. I have to use it. The whole jar. Do you think it will work for this soup? I know Peanut Butter is more flavourful, but I gotta use this Almond Butter.
(Or cookies. Maybe I can make Not Peanut Butter Cookies?)
Hi nr, I think almond butter cookies sound great! Less risky too, than trying to make this recipe with almond butter.
Hi, due to peanut alergies in the family, I made this using Almond Butter and Cashews and it was AMAZING.
Try the recipe with some the almond butter and let us know how it came out and you can use the remaining almond butter to make a smoothie.
Bravo!I followed the recipe to the T and it turned out delicioso! I did not have to adjust anything. I’ve added it as one of my Sunday meals (yes, it’s that good) and I can hardly wait to serve to my summertime guests.
I didn’t love this recipe, but it is due to my own personal preferences rather than any failing of the recipe. When I was cooking it, I started getting grossed out – tomatoes + chicken stock + peanut butter + peanuts? Noooooo….but I needn’t have worried. The texture of the stew married together during the simmer time, and the flavors really do meld together as well. I did find the peanut butter to be the most dominant flavor. For me, the reason that I didn’t love it was twofold: 1) I wish it had had more chicken (my fault – my pot wasn’t big enough to hold everything, so I had to leave out some chicken and some sweet potato). 2) it was too spicy for me. One thing I know about myself is that I don’t like spicy food because I don’t tolerate it well, but I did use the one teaspoon of cayenne hoping that it would be just a very subtle heat. It was more than subtle (my mouth is still burning as I write this), so that’s why it wasn’t my favorite. However, for someone with a stronger palate, this is a great recipe! Thanks for sharing!
I added Berber seasoning and used cashew butter to make it Paleo friendly. So good on this 7 degree day!
Love this dish.
Someone asked about sweet peanut butter. I would use it. I’ve had success with Skippy type stuff that’s loaded with sugar (though usually I use peanut/salt peanut butter because it’s what I have on hand).
Good tomatoes are naturally sweet, and when my canned tomatoes are a little acidic (happens a lot) I always balance it out with some sugar. So much stuff it in has added hidden sugar now a days that most of our palates are accustomed to it. (Not saying this is a good thing, just that this dish is really yummy with extra sugar).
My dad and I made this stew and just about died over how good it was. Did not. Change. A thing!!!! Unbelievable.
I initially sent the recipe to my son (a frequent traveler to S. Africa) and loved it so much when he made it for me that I had to make it myself on a cold, dreary Sunday. I made it as directed and the stew was AMAZING – even my 83 year old mother loved it! Will either add more cayenne next time, or just serve with hot sauce on the side. The flavors were so warm and comforting, and even better the second day. Both my son and I opted to mix some roasted, chopped peanuts with the cilantro to sprinkle on top when served – it gave a extra texture to the dish.
PS – I don’t normally like sweet potatoes, but had no problems with them in this dish; perhaps because I cut them into smallish chunks and they “melted” into the stock/tomato puree. Yum!
This is probably the best thing I have ever made.
This was delicious. I didn’t find it spicy enough so I will for sure be adding more cayenne next time but over all an amazing dish.
Made this last year because I wanted something different. Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised by just how delicious this is. What was even better was my boyfriend really liked it too! Right now I have it simmering on the stove for tonight’s supper, and leftovers that will get fought over! Thanks for sharing this great recipe!!
This has become a family favorite and the most requested soup for Teacher Appreciation meals! I love that it is GF and Dairy free. :) I breakdown a whole chicken for the recipe and sometimes add coconut milk and serve it over rice. DELICIOUS!!! Thank you so much for sharing. We LOVE this recipe.
This is fabulous!! I had to change a few things because of what was available, but loved it…reminds me of chicken madras, but soup instead of sauce. I used Palm Oil ~ definitely recommend! Added 1qt. plus 1 13.5oz can of coconut milk to take out some of the heat. I used natural peanut butter, and pre roasted chicken (out of our freezer) that I added at the end. I did not want to taste a lot of pepper, even though that is what’s recommended. YUUM!!
I’ve been making this recipe for the past two years, but as my husband spent 14 years in southern Africa, I followed his suggestion instead of rice, to serve it with maize pap, which is what an earlier commenter may have meant by referring to fufu, as this can be made out of a number of foods, including cassava and maize. I use maize, which is typical for southern Africa, and it complements the stew wonderfully.
This recipe looks really good but I fear it won’t be spicy enough. Is there a preferred chili or pepper that could be added? Preferably one that I don’t need to get all the way from Africa.
Try Scotch Bonnet or Habernero
I just made this tonight. I didn’t have enough peanut butter on hand, but it was still delish! I also used white meat instead of dark. I loved it and will make this again.
Do I use sweetened or unsweetened peanut butter?
That’s an interesting question. I usually get some sort of organic peanut butter that only has peanuts in it, and maybe some salt. But I don’t see why this recipe wouldn’t work with a regular brand of peanut butter, and those usually have a little sugar in them. But if you are asking about a “sweet” peanut butter, as in peanut butter that tastes sweet because it has quite a bit of sugar in it, I would avoid using that.
I do not use the sweet potatoes and therefore create a thinner sauce rather than stew. The sauce is great on steamed rice as a base, much in the same way that a chilli sauce can be balanced by the rice. I also use fresh chillis in the recipe as the combination of peanuts, chicken, chilli and the other ingredients mentioned are delicious…
p.s… thank you for the recipe!!
Could anyone tell me if they have tried this in a slow cooker and if so, what are the adjustments for the liquids?
Made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! My 17 yr. old daughter said, “Mom, does this have peanut butter in it?” and I nodded with a smile. She’s my guinea pig-lol! We also served it over Jasmine rice.
Anyway, aside from being a little time consuming, as I did start from a whole chicken at 7pm, a quick scare due to lack of coriander, or so I thought, and maybe needing to add a little more heat to it next time, this was an overall adventure! I’ll keep experimenting with it til I’ve made it my own. Thanks, Elise and Hank, for a wonderful start to an exceptional finish. :)
I’m cooking this right now and it smells soooooo good! Thank you so much for this recipe! I can’t wait to serve it to my family! God Bless~
This is so, so tasty, but so so fattening! I’m happy to splurge sometimes, but I think next time I’ll remove all the skin before browning, add less peanut butter and leave out the peanuts entirely, just to lighten it up just a bit. Very delicious and filling, though.
I have always loved this dish when it was cooked by West African friends, but never dared try it myself. Your recipe was clear and easy to follow. I used “Japanese yams” (or at least that is what they were called in the store), and they held up well and did not dissolve despite two hours of simmering. The pepper and cayenne are great in combination with the other flavors. This is a terrific winter dish.
I loved this recipe and so did the family. I added brown rice to the stew instead of serving it with. I added 1/3 cup if brown rice. Tasted great and loved getting the peanut surprises.
I am on a little crusade of authenticity here: the translation from “ghanaian yam” to “sweet potato” is botanically and culinarily incorrect. I have been going to Ghana for more than ten years now and I have never seen a sweet potato there outside of the commissary at the US embassy at Thanksgiving.
The true African yam is a large, white fleshed tuber that is starchy and dry (similar to a dry baked potato). It is not botanically related to the sweet potato that we sometimes (incorrectly) call “yam” here.
Every Ghanaian cook prepares Groundnut stew (or “Nkatenkwan”) somewhat differently, but typically the soup is prepared without the starch, the starches are prepared separately and then served with the stew at the end, usually as a large doughy ball in the center of the soup that is used to scoop the soup up while eating with ones hands.
I’m glad you pointed out the discrepancy. I am from Trinidad and I made the stew today and while making it I thought that the orange American sweet potato is not the same as the African yam which is also found in the Caribbean. The stew is delicious as is but I will make it with the African yam next time.
Well, it is very difficult to get African yams here in the states, so white sweet potatoes make a good substitute; they are a bit more starchy then the garnet or jewel yams. When I can find frozen cassava root (also very common in African cooking), I will use half cassava and half white sweet potatoes; this combo makes a very good, very close flavor and texture profile similar to African yam.
I made this with boneless skinless chicken breasts, so I didn’t have a problem with my sweet potatoes disintegrating. I did use homemade broth, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have wanted to skip the long simmer of the bones. I found it quite delicious and something I will definitely make again. I didn’t think it needed any extra acid or anything. I also stirred in some chopped kale towards the end, and served with steamed millet.
Hello, made this recipe as directed, but next time would like to avoid the sweet potato disintegration problem–it neutralized the flavors and textures which had tasted great in earlier cooking stages. Love bold, spicy foods. A staffer at my daughter’s school, who is from Ghana, recommends cooking the potatoes separately and mixing in only at serving time. She also says that the sauteingand browning stages are not followed in Ghana; they just throw it all together in the stewpot and thus avoid the extra oil. Any other suggestions? I think this has great potential and is the first of about two dozen recipes I’ve used from this site that did not turn out better than I’d hoped!
did not like at all!
I thought this recipe was just okay. I put in about 2 hours making this and it did not live up to the time.
Elise, er, Hank, I am excited to make this for such a dreary October day we are suffering through over here on the east coast. But you should also file this under gluten-free…because it is!
HI. This sounds very good but I am curious as how peanut buttery the overall dish tastes like?????
I made this in a crockpot (simmering something for 90 minutes in the heat of summer? No thank you!) and it was delicious. I bet it’s better with all the flavor-building of the stove, but I’ll find out this winter!
I don’t think I can eat groundnut soup without fufu.
Unlike everyone else in America, my parents hated cooking. So at 11, my mom handed me ‘Betty Crocker’s dinner in a dish’ (1965) and pointed me to her avocado kitchen. I LOVE cooking, of course, I love eating my cooking and at 50, 5’3″ and 250 lbs, not good. So I lost 100lbs,over the next 2 years by eating right and exercising (walk, swim, bike ride), no big mystery, and I’ve kept it off for 3 yrs.
One of the first dishes I made was Gold coast stew. Peppers (grn and red), onion,garlic, tomato paste, stewed tomatoes, peanut butter, broth, chili powder, sugar, nutmeg,allspice, chicken (beef and pork also work) and rice. served with pineapple, shred coconut, and tomato salad with papaya seed dressing.I made it for a home economics class, made it for my kids (they used to ask for peanut butter stew when I would get a new foster child, LOL) and I made it recently for friends. always a hit.
Fantastic recipe for a cool autumn night. I made the recipe as is and it turned out very well. We ate it with some North african flat bread (http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/north-african-semolina-flatbread-recipe). Excellent!
A little spicy, a little sweet, a little earthy ~ absolutely delicious! I was nervous that it would be too peanut-y as I was cooking it, but after it simmered for awhile, all the flavors melded together wonderfully! I used boneless skinless chicken breast because it is healthier, and it worked out just fine. Great recipe – I will definitely be making this again!
HOLY DELICIOUS! I made this tonight (ahem, still making it, but can’t wait to eat it based on taste testing…) and will keep this recipe around. I did add a couple tablespoons of lemon juice and some extra dried Thai chilies, but those were my only variations. Wonderfully flavorful and the skin on your bird is a definite must. I did take a cleaver to my bird, and it was kind of fun/probably made it richer. Oh, I used pheasant. I wonder how this would taste with lamb? I’m hoping this freezes well because I have LEFTOVERS.
I made a stew similar to this before, but instead of the sweet potatoes, I used plantains. It tasted great!
My parents are from Ghana, and they make this at home with Ghanaian rice balls. Super yummy!!!
Delicious! I upped the garlic, ginger, and pepper the second time I made it and turned out even better. One way to be lazy about it is to use chunky peanut butter and skip the peanuts. (Lazy because my local store only sells them unshelled and I really can’t be bothered.)
I made this recipe last night and it was almost perfect. Here’s how I adapted to suit what I wanted:
I added 300ml of lite coconut milk and while I loved it flavour-wise, it made the stew a little too rich. I wish I would have reduced the amount of peanut butter to make up for the addition of coconut. I also added chickpeas and they complimented the stew perfectly. I’ve made about 5 things from this website and I have to say that this turned out the best!
This recipes makes enough to feed a small army and there were only two of us eating. We’ll be eating leftovers all week!
I LOVE this recipe! I’ve prepared it about six times this winter and I’m making it again tonight. I never ate yams before either. Thank you so much!
Can this be frozen after making?
This was definitely better the second day, especially since it’s a cold day! Am eating leftovers now over a bowl of warm quinoa. Great and easy high-protein meal.
sounds absolutely delicious…question: do you think this would work in a slow cooker? if so, any idea how long to let it cook in there? thanks.
Yes, I am sure it would work. No, I have no idea how long you would cook it. Sorry! ~Hank
I absolutely love this stew. The peanut butter (I use crunchy) and chilly combination is fantastic. I often make a vegetarian version which is my easy budget recipe which includes sweet potatoes and spinach. This makes a really healthy, tasty meal for less than £1/serving (just over $1).
This was awesome! Whole family including our 1 year old loved it. I have made it twice and added garbanzo beans the second time. Was great! Served over rice and had some chile garlic sauce on the side for those that wanted to add.
WOW! I was a bit off-standish on this at first, but this is a INCREDIBLE recipe!! My family cant get enough of this thank you soo much for posting. PS, I love this sight
I’ve always loved a vegetable/peanut butter soup recipe shared with me years ago, so this looked delicious as well, couldn’t wait to try it. Made it yesterday using chicken thighs (with bone and skin), increased the amount of garlic slightly, and used an all-natural creamy peanut butter that was on hand, rather than conventional sweetened kinds. I let it simmer a long while and was not chintzy with the cayenne or black peppers – it was VERY good, served with plain steamed basmati rice. I might increase the heat factor next time and boost the garlic and ginger slightly, but the balance worked nicely as it stood. Can’t wait to reheat it for dinner tonight, as it will probably be even better a day later after the flavours have “married”. Thank you so much for a definite keeper!
Made this tonight with chicken breast, because it’s what I had – and it turned out great. I’ll go with dark meat next time when I’ve got it on hand, but this is definitely a make again recipe. (Only needed 60 minutes of simmering too!)
Made this tonight and it was delicious! I was a little afraid of the heat, so I toned the seasoning down a bit but my husband added it back in and we both loved it:) Thanks for sharing.
As soon as I saw your photo of the stew I knew I had to try, it looks so good. It was absolutely delicious! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. I halved it and it still came out wonderful.
“Perfect for chilly weather”. After trying today the recipe here in Edmonton (Alberta) with -22C (-7.6F) and wind chill of -32C (-22F) I can confirm that it truly is! Wonderful flavour!
Lovely. Any recipe with peanut butter is a keeper for me. And since I always have most of these things in the pantry, it’s a great standby recipe. I like peanut stew made with thickly sliced cabbage.
Just wondering if anyone has any tips for adapting this as a slow cooker recipe?
Sorry, but I don’t normally use a slow cooker. Anyone out there have any suggestions? ~Hank
Update – we’re having groundnut stew for dinner two nights in a row! Yep, I doubled all the ingredients, except the chicken thighs, and WOW it was worth it. Since previous commenters had mentioned making groundnut stew without meat, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to not add more chicken. Thankfully my family really enjoyed it, as there was enough to feed an army. Hardly any cayenne or pepper because of the young ones, but we all squeezed lemon wedges into our jasmine rice covered with groundnut stew bowls and found it really brightened the flavour. Hubby and I added our own peppers and tabasco. Thanks for providing the recipe for my first homemade African meal :)
Hi – So, after several trips to the grocery store by my husband (I know, these are all common items, shouldn’t require a single trip, usually I have them in my pantry, but anyway) I thought I had everything on hand. Unfortunately, I openned the can of tomatoes my husband brought home and added them to the soup – only to find out after adding everything that I added 29 oz. of tomatoe PUREE. Would I need to double everything else in the recipe to balance it out? Any other fix? I didn’t have quite enough chicken for a single recipe so two isn’t gonna cut it…
I made this the night before last. So good and a nice change up after the holidays. The only changes I made were that I added some sriracha and doubled the cilantro (we are cilantro hounds). I used leg quarters. The meat just fell off the bone so I had to be careful not to lose a knob of cartilage in the stew. YUM! Dark meat for sure in this. It was even better the next day. Thank you for the recipe!
We made this meal tonight and it was AMAZING!! I modified it slightly by doubling the garlic and ginger, and using regular potatoes (as it is difficult to find sweet potatoes here in Japan). It is now going to be a regular fixture on our winter menu :D Thank you so much and keep the great recipes coming!
I made this tonight and it was absolutely delicious! The stew was full of flavor and the chicken thighs were so tender and perfect. I did add a bit more cayenne and black pepper to my serving as I’m a huge fan of spicy dishes. Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe!
Made this tonight, am eating it right now, and it’s fabulous! I definitely will make this for this year’s Soup Bowl Sunday.
We invited two of my co-workers for dinner last night and today this stew is the talk of the office. I’m not sure what was better the rich flavor or the aroma wafting through our house.
Just made this tonight. It was fantastic. The chicken was soo good. Thanks for sharing!
I made this in a stainless steel pot. Delicious, but I am still working on cleaning the pot. Be sure to use non-stick for this
I made this last night and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The only change i made was a squirt of lime juice in my bowl to add some fresh acidity.
Have you tried or considered this recipe using a different nut and nut butter? perhaps cashews or hazelnuts? I’m curious if you think that might work or not.
Never tried it with cashews, but I bet that would be tasty! ~Hank
I’ve been making this (and variations) for years. I tend to use Sriracha (rooster sauce) in place of the cayenne. Makes an interesting background flavor and it can get the heat going.
I made this dish for New Year’s – it was AMAZING. I don’t even like sweet potatoes but it was wonderful in this recipe. I loved how the chicken and sweet potatoes broke down into this awesome soft but not mushy consistency. I’m going to try this with goat or beef as per my mom’s request.
Being desi, I subbed the cayenne pepper for red chili powder and put in 1 tbsp of that and black pepper as well as a handful of green chilis. Our whole family agreed that it could use more heat, but it wasn’t bland at all. Definitely upping the heat next time.
More heat? Now THAT’s what I want to hear! I do the same thing at home. ~Hank
I just made this for dinner tonight, and it was amazing. Delicious over fluffy jasmine rice. I did Ghana proud and used all the cayenne and pepper recommended. Although I was so excited about this dish that I completely forgot the cilantro. I will definitely make this again!
I must make a comment on a previous post re: red palm oil. It is not “healthful” and actually full of saturated fats. I have lived in Nigeria and my husband is Nigerian and we use it often in our dishes but it is not in the least healthy :) This is a great recipe! Thanks for sharing!
I made this tonight and thought it was such an interesting dish, and delicious. Very tasty and filling. The only thing I thought I would do different next time was add some acidic element like lemon juice or more tomato to balance the dish and cut through some of the peanut butter. But it’s a minor complaint about a very good dish. Thanks for the inspiration.
I make something much like this..add coconut milk, curry and garbanzo beans.
Just made the dish for dinner and it was amazing, great bold flavors! I will definitely make it again. I followed the recipe as written, the only thing I will change the next time I make it is to add the sweet potatoes part way through the cooking time rather than at the beginning as instructed. After an hour of simmering they had mostly disintegrated, giving the stew a rather mushy consistency. I at least would prefer the texture of a soup with distinct sweet potato chunks floating in it.
I made this because I had something similar at a restaurant in Portland, Oregon years ago & it was a favorite of mine. This ended up tasting different but was equally as good. I only made two changes: I used yams because I had them on hand and boneless, skinless chicken thighs, which was great because I could break up the meat right in the pot. My husband raved about it. This is something I plan to bring to my office annual soup cookoff next year! I won third place this year but I bet I get first place with this recipe! I personally love a really thick stew, so I also cooked it a little longer so that the yams broke down a bit and thickened it. Fantastic!
Eating this soup now. So good and perfect for a chilly day. Perfect balance of sweet and hot.
I made this with extra firm tofu subsituted for the chicken and it is FABULOUS! :) thanks for posting such a delicious healhty recipe!
This looks great. I have recently tried cooking in a tagine, or clay pot. Would you suggest any changes?
I would like to find out where Hank Shaw got the dishes used in the African chicken peanut stew display. Any chance you could let me know where they came from and (if) they could be purchased. Thanking you in advance. judi
Hi Judi, the bowl is artisan made, the last one the shop had. It doesn’t have a mark, so I don’t know who made it. The plate underneath is some sort of copper/tin decorative plate from I think India. I purchased it at ABC Carpet, a housewares and furniture store, in New York City. They had plenty for sale at the time. ~Elise
I made this last night. I hadn’t intended too have freinds over, but they showed up and everyone went back for seconds…one person had a third bowl. I served it over rice, but I love the idea of having it with Naan. I actualy was out of ground coriander so I used the same aomount of Garam masala. It was delicious.
SO excited to try this!! I first ate this in Ghana when I studied abroad in 2007. One of my favorite things about making this dish is how easy it is. My go-to recipe doesn’t have sweet potatoes or meat (just broth), so I am excited to try this! Because the base of the recipe is tomatoes and peanut butter, it’s very hard to mess it up. Accidentally put too much peanut butter in? Add more tomatoes!
Since I like a smoother soup, I like to use organic unsalted peanut butter. I’ll puree everything in a food processor too.
Thanks so much for this! Brings back lots of memories. And yes, Ghanaians LOVE LOVE their spicy foods so don’t be stingy here. :)
I was inspired by this dish and made it last night with a few modifications – it was a crowd pleaser! Since I no longer eat meat or chicken (supposedly), I used mahi mahi. This sped up the cooking process big time. I sauteed the onions, some garlic, a little fennel and the ginger. I added the cubed yams, peanuts, peanut butter, salt, pepper & cayenne then some Thai fish sauce and the tomatoes. I found I needed to add some water to keep the consistency correct as well. After about 30 minutes I was satisfied with the “stew” and added the mahi mahi in one inch slices and let it cook for about 20 minutes or until it just started to break up. I did use lots of black pepper and mixed in the cilantro at the end.
I made this stew tonight to rave reviews from even the teenagers in the house. I can’t have “hot” spicy so mine was very mildly peppered. However, I set out the cayenne for those that could spice it hotter. The taste was extraordinarily good, not common and just the right meal for a cold winter’s night. It has gone on the “comfort” food list from now on! Thanks for sharing, Mary
This looks incredible! How does it work with boneless, skinless thighs? They are so much easier than dealing with the skin and bones. As a big fan of Thai cuisine, I’m thinking of adding a blast of coconut milk because my family is so in to that flavor. It seems like it would incorporate really well into this blend. So, can I use the easy chicken? Since the meat gets shredded anyway, and the skin discarded, I think it would turn out just fine.
Yes, you can use skinless thighs, but the bones and skin add a lot of flavor — besides, I eat the skin. ~Hank
I said I would and I did make this last night for my visiting son and daughter-in-law, and it was as delicious as all the other rave reveiwers are exclaiming about. My kids took the printed recipe home so they could make it again. I used a bit more ginger than called for and upped the garlic to 10 cloves, and to my taste buds it only made it better. Lucky me: cilantro grows year-round in my garden.
I made the stew last night and it was amazing. Easy to make and big enough to feed my every hungry boyfriend. The flavors are wonderful and the kick from the pepper is great! The chicken was super tender, it was almost like a curry. A new staple for quick dinners :)
Thanks for sharing this. I just made it this morning and it was absolutely delicious! My only addition to your steps was that I toasted and fresh ground the coriander.
The 1tsp of cayenne scared me at first but it was a nice gentle heat and not overpowering at all.
you list both:
1 Tbsp ground coriander
1/4 to 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro
I understand using both chopped and ground coriander in a recipe. However, why list the two names? Aren’t they the same herb?
Cilantro is the leafy herb that resembles Italian parsley. Ground coriander is the ground dried seeds from the plant. ~Elise
I made this for dinner tonight and it was wonderful. My husband is taking some for lunch tomorrow and wanted to take extra so he could share with his co-worker. Love the spiciness and full flavor of the dish.
As soon as I saw this recipe come across my GoogleReader, I knew I was going to make this tonight. It was delicious! I couldn’t get thighs at the grocery store (they said because of the blizzard, no more chicken shipments for another 3 days!), so I had to settle on regular chicken breasts that I had in my freezer. It was still excellent and the chicken was very tender! I also added chickpeas. I recall the chickpeas in a similar African dish I had at a restaurant, and it was well suited in this dish.
Thanks for the recipe!
So I saw this and sent the husband to the store immediately for all the supplies. I didn’t measure anything as well I have never cooked that way (probably why I can’t bake to save my life). So I think I probably would have gone with a bit more ginger I really love the flavor of this root.
I tasted it before the potatoes are soft enough and I have to say it is fabulous! While just as much work as my homemade chicken soup (as I always use homemade stock instead of broth in a can or box), it is well worth the many steps of chopping, mincing, boiling and cooling what not!
Now the true test is will my over picky husband enjoy it as well! Lets hope so for its now on the list of my dishes I make regularly!
I know this as chicken moambe. I haven’t made it in a long time; thanks for the reminder!
I made a recipe very similar to this recently for a luncheon at work. I made 6 qts and they devoured it all. The recipe I used also contained coconut milk and I thew in some cream of coconut. If your crew at home has been eating the same stuff this will really throw a wrench into it and they will definitely ask for it again!
How much coconut cream or milk did you use.?
Does anyone think this might be just as good with almond butter? I’m allergic to peanuts!
I’m sure it’d work with almond butter, but I’d try cashew butter instead — I think the flavor will be better with everything else in the stew. ~Hank
Half cashew butter and half tahini paste makes a very excellent substitute.
I make an easy African chicken stew similar to this, too, after reading about some traditional African cuisines a while back.
But I don’t use ever use vegetable oil (I purged veg oil from my kitchen years ago); I use Red Palm Oil, which is a healthful fat with a long tradition in African diets, adding an interesting and authentic flavor to the dish, as well as an intense red color from the high beta-carotene (Vitamin A precursor) content.
Red palm oil is available at many natural foods stores and national chains such as Whole Foods, as well as from online retailers. A jar of Red Palm Oil remains fresh after opening for a very long time, because unlike highly processed and deodorized vegetable oil whose high PUFA content is prone to rancidity from oxidation (you know that “paint smell” and sticky plastic-y film veg oil quickly develops), red palm oil’s fatty acid profile, even though only minimally processed, is very shelf-stable and far less susceptible to oxidation and rancidity.
I’ve also used winter squash chunks in place of the sweet potatoes in a pinch. Not authentic perhaps, but still tasty.
Look at some of the food news. Palm oil is harvested in the middle of an elephant sanctuary. The farmers are killing the elephants in record kills to protect the palm trees. As a pro chef I try to keep up with sustainability etc and this just stood out. I used to use this product and until I see otherwise I will continue to boycott it. Just advising everyone, not mad at anyone, sharing the story. Have agreat week every one.
I’m with you. I would rather prepare an Italian dish than harm another elephant!
Note to anyone with a peanut allergy: We make this in our house using almond butter or 3/4 almond butter and 1/4 tahini and it is super delicious.
wow, this sounds absolutely fantastic. i might experiment with a vegetarian version for my visiting vegetarian sister, if that isn’t totally sacrilege.
Nope, not sacrilege. Lots of people make this without chicken. ~Hank
Thanks so much for this recipe! I studied in West Africa (Niger) in college and this dish was one of the meals we would eat on special occasions. We ate it over rice and had it with beef instead of chicken, but this version sounds delicious. I have been meaning to make this dish, but I wanted a recipe I could trust. Thanks again!
P.s. In Niger this peanut sauce is called tigadigi. I hope that anyone googling it will now be directed here!
This looks wonderful! Just one question: at what stage should the chicken be added to the pot after it’s been browned? Thanks!
With the chicken broth, et al, after you saute the ginger and garlic. ~Hank
The actual African name of this incredibly tasty stew is “Groundnut Stew.” There are countless versions of Groundnut Stew across Africa that vary the meats and vegetables. After tasting it at a party, I started making this stew and experimenting with the recipe.
My version uses skinless chicken breasts cut into chunks for faster cooking. I season the chicken with cayenne, a pinch of ground ginger and salt before browning in oil. I use chunky peanut butter (use a good brand) to get both the peanut taste and bits of actual peanuts into the stew. I also use 2 garlic cloves, grated fresh ginger, chili powder, great northern beans, chopped bell peppers and whole kernel corn. In the last 10 minutes, I stir in some cooked rice. Yum!
Next, I think I’ll try the chicken thighs, coriander and cilantro from this recipe. Every cook should experiment. As long as you keep the sweet potatoes, peanuts, tomatoes, ginger and garlic, it will be a true Groundnut Stew (or African Stew as my family likes to call it).
Hank in some similar stews I have seen the local custom is to take a meat cleaver to the chicken to open up the bones a bit prior to cooking. This is said to really intensify the stock or base. Traditional Indian cooking immediately comes to mind as an example. Did your friends from Ghana use this process as well?
Yep, they did. Hacking the bones opens up the marrow and collagen within, which will enrich your broth. By all means go for it if you want! ~Hank
just made this soup, and it is excellent!! a couple of things I will do differently next time; I’ll probably grate rather than chop the ginger because the flavor of it is very pungent. also, chop the peanuts in a blender rather than leave them whole. otherwise, a really great soup for the winter!
Good tip on the ginger. I might cut back on the ginger too because I can’t take any heat! I know, gingers only HOT to people like me. I’m not going to lie, this looks a little difficult for me to make ~ but the rewards are definitely there. You have packed so much flavor here. This reminds me of a soup I saw in the Colonial Williamsburg village while on vacation, the peanuts/pb flavor was to DIE for. Thanks again.
If I don’t hack the bones at the beginning, would enough marrow and collagen exist afterwards to make a plain stock?