Wednesday, August 19, 2015

African Peanut Butter Chicken / Sauce de Arachide au Poulet

As much as people know about European cuisine, there is very little knows facts about African food culture to them. Africa is developing...and it is developing fast. But none of this news gets a good exposure nor does it attract the media in a positive way. And if you look at their cuisine it has suffered the same fate as well. After I came to Abidjan...I started to grow a strong preference towards their food. I have not tasted much of their street food because of the low hygienic maintenance there...but the girl who works in my house cooks them with ease. She is an excellent cook and she has a large amount of patience because she answers every single of my curious question about their country and culture with details and without showing any kind of irritation.

peanut butter chicken african style

how to cook chicken with peanut butter recipe

She is the one who has bought me those grilling equipments, which is known here as Crockpot. The best aspect of African cooking is there simplicity. They do not add a lot of spices in their food. Salt, pepper and chicken stock cube...these are the only spices they tend to use. Whereas mustard and prawn paste comes rarely and occasionally.

african peanut butter chicken stew recipe

easy chicken with peanut butter recipe

Brochette or kebabs are very popular items in their fooding. Grilling is important too. They are heavily influenced by the French cuisine as well. It is well seen in their preference of breads and desserts. Tarts, souffl├ęs and French Breads have become almost staple in their daily life.

african chicken stew with peanut butter

african chicken curry recipe with step by step photos

Since Abidjan is a coastal city, fishes are available in abundance, and grilled fishes are very popular here. Whole grilled fishes, which you can buy from street side carts, are very frequent and tasty as well.

sauce de arachide au poulet recipe

It is not every day that you can get to know a culture so closely which is highly misunderstood as well as not understood and not- known. So I wanted to make the most of my opportunities. I wanted to know African cuisine very closely.
how to cook chicken with peanut butter recipe

chicken stew african style with peanuts paste recipe

So to know in detail about their cooking style, I asked my maid to cook for me the popular dishes from her daily life. She told me about Poulet Kejoune...which is African style vegetable chicken stew, but I asked her to cook Peanut Butter Chicken or Sauce de Arachide au Poulet.

easy chicken stew wirh peanut butter recipe

traditional african chicken with peanut butter recipe

In making this dish, one can take different methods. As she said, she prefers to cook the peanut butter before pouring that into the chicken, because if the peanuts remain can lead to stomach pain. But some people cook the peanut butter and chicken together also.

classic chicken with peanut butter stew recipe afro style

easy african peanut butter chicken recipe

She also said that, they do not use grinder for making the butter. They simply crush the peanuts with a mortar and pestle and then make the paste using a stone grinder.  You can also use to store bought peanut butter, but it is the homemade that brings the particular authentic flavour and smell.

chicken stew with peanut butter recipe with pictures

simple peanut butter chicken recipe

Basically the colour of the gravy of the peanut Butter Chicken varies from off-white to brownish, depending on your method of roasting the peanuts. If you be careful and do not make the peanuts too much brown, then your gravy will stay off-white. Too much roasting also makes the gravy a little bitter. The use of onion and tomatoes gives the gravy a light reddish hint and the oil floating on top becomes red too.

how to cook chicken with peanut butter

African cooking now a day’s heavily uses the chicken stock cubes or maggi cubes. If you do not have them, just use chicken stocks in place of water. That will do too.

easy and simple african peanut butter chicken recipe

Much of the oil in this dish, comes from the peanut butter. Also the thickness of the gravy is very thin traditionally. It’s a stew like dish, which they eat with Atteke (achake) or futu or fufu.
So here I am sharing the authentic African Peanut Butter Chicken. It’s easy simple and gloriously delicious.
P.S. I wanted to add some .gif images, but I could not save them due to some technical problems. Hope this post helps you to make a tasty chicken dish. If you have any questions, feel fry to ask in the comment section.

African Peanut Butter Chicken / Sauce de Arachide au Poulet

african chicken stew with peanut butter

250gm roasted unsalted peanuts
1 kg chicken on bones
1 large onion
3 medium tomatoes
10-12 green chillies
6-7 garlic cloves - minced
1 inch stick of ginger – chopped
1 tbsp oil
3 chicken stock cubes
10-12 whole black peppercorns – dry roasted for 2 minutes and then ground to a fine powder

Put all the peanuts in grinder and grind until it becomes coarse.
Open the lid, scrap the sides and grind again. Grind until you start to see the ground peanuts has started to clot. It means they are oozing out oil. Add a little water and grind again.
After grinding for 1-2 minutes, check again. The paste has to be buttery smooth. If needed add some more water and grind again. Do not add too much of water which will make the paste runny. It should thick in consistency like butter.
 Once done, transfer the entire prepared peanut butter to a saucepan, and mix in 2 cups of water. Using your hand mix those to create syrup like liquid.
Put the saucepan on low flame and simmer for 15 minutes. You have to keep a watchful eye on the peanut butter liquid, while it is on the stove and simmering. Stir and scrap the bottom frequently,  so that nothing clots into the bottom and sticks there. Also pay attention to the flame. The liquid should remain off-white in colour, and does not dark brown. In the end, the peanut butter liquid will become thick and will start to ooze out oil. The oil will float on top of the liquid. This is the sign that your peanut butter is now cooked.
Transfer this cooked peanut butter to another bowl.
Take a large heavy bottomed dutch oven (detchki will be a perfect replacement), and place the chicken pieces in there, each touching the surface of the pan / dutch oven.
Half the onion. Chop one of the half portion and sprinkle them over the chicken.
Push the whole tomatoes, the other half of the onion and chillies in between the pieces.
Sprinkle the chopped and minced ginger and garlic over them.
Crush the chicken stock cubes and sprinkle them over the chickens too.
In the end, sprinkle the salt and crushed black peppercorns.
Put cover and place the pan / dutch oven on low flame, for 12-15 minutes. In between shake the pan slowly to mix everything. You can also give a stir.
After 15 minutes, pour in the prepared and cooked peanut butter. Add in more 3 cups of water.
Put cover and cook on medium flame for 15 minutes or until the onions and tomatoes become really soft.
Once they have become soft, fish out the onion, tomatoes and chillies. Do not put off the flame. Let the chicken cook.
Put them in a blender and blend till soft.
Pour this cooked onion and tomato paste into the boiling chicken and gravy again. Mix to incorporate everything.
Put cover again and cook for another 30 minutes or until the chicken is done and oil starts to float on top of the gravy.
Taste and adjust the seasoning.
Simmer till you reach your desired consistency of the gravy. Generally it is a stew like dish, but you can make thick gravy and eat with chapati. This peanut Butter Chicken goes great with rice. But the best combo for me is Atteke (which is pronounced as Achake), which is an Ivorienne staple.

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