While researching Nigerian food for Anna Hibiscus, I kept coming across this peanut chicken stew and I was intrigued. Peanuts, actually groundnuts, seem to be a very common ingredient in Nigerian cuisine and they are definitely the star of this dish.
I wasn’t entirely sold on this recipe until I tasted my finished product – and then made it several more times. The combination of ingredients just didn’t sound completely appetizing, but I was determined to try some typical Nigerian dishes, so I made it anyway. The end result reminded my of a chicken satay, but more flavorful and way more spicy!
My chicken peanut stew recipe here is not nearly as spicy as authentic Nigerian peanut stew recipes you can find online, because as we discovered with the suya experiment, I am a bit of a wimp when it comes to heat level in my dinners. You can absolutely up the heat by adding more cayenne pepper or any favorite dried pepper you have.
Heat or no heat, chicken peanut stew is creamy, comforting, and so delicious. It is perfect served over rice with some crushed peanuts as garnish for added texture.
In a large, heavy bottom pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Pat the chicken drumsticks dry, season with salt and pepper, and brown on all sides in the oil, working in batches as necessary. Remove the chicken to a plate.
Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the onions to the pot and cook until they are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, and cayenne pepper to the onions and cook for 1 minute longer, stirring constantly.
Add the tomatoes plus 1 cup of chicken stock, and use an immersion blender to blend the soup until it is smooth. Add the bay leaf. Return the chicken and collected juices back to the pot, reduce the heat to simmer, cover, and cook until the chicken is falling off the bone, about 20-30 minutes.
Once the chicken is finished cooking, stir the peanut butter into the stew until it is melted and thoroughly mixed. Add more chicken stock is you prefer a thinner stew. Remove the bay leaf before serving.