West African-Inspired Chicken Peanut Stew

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This year, I attended a training provided by NC State University on the Foundations of Flavor. This dish wasn’t one that stood out to me, but the flavor was out of this world and quickly became one of my top dishes we made that week. This is perfect for a cold night when you’re craving something savory. Sweet potatoes and collards — both southern staples — are home to West Africa, where they have been part of dishes like this chicken peanut stew for hundreds of years. This recipe was inspired by the Senegalese dish called Maafe, a hearty stew that cooks low and slow to evolve many complex layers of flavor. The stew can be prepared as the full recipe or cut in half. Although cooking the recipe on the stove produces maximum flavor, to save time you can also prepare it in a crockpot.

Recipe from: cookingessentials.cals.ncsu.edu

Serves: 8

Serving size: 1 ½ cups

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 2-4 hours


  • 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 inch knob of ginger, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup peanut butter*
  • 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 2½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 cups chicken broth, low sodium
  • 1 pound chicken thighs
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 pound collard greens, roughly chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar



  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add onions, garlic, ginger, tomato paste, peanut butter, canned tomatoes, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, and chicken broth.
  3. Cook over medium low heat for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Stir regularly to prevent the sauce from burning. The longer these ingredients cook together, the more intense the flavor of the stew will be.
  4. Add chicken thighs and sweet potatoes.
  5. Cook, uncovered, for another 1– 2 hours, or until chicken thighs register 165°F and sweet potatoes are tender.
  6. During the last 10 minutes of cooking, add collard greens.
  7. After removing from heat, stir in apple cider vinegar and adjust seasonings as needed.


  1. To a large crockpot, add onions, garlic, ginger, tomato paste, peanut butter, canned tomatoes, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, chicken broth and chicken thighs.
  2. Set to high and cook for 2½ hours.
  3. Add collard greens and cook for another 30 minutes.
  4. After removing from heat, stir in apple cider vinegar and adjust seasonings as needed.

Peanut Ckn Stewchick