So, once upon a time [actually, two once upon a time's], I studied abroad in Africa. Specifically, in Cameroon and Lesotho. This is NOT a recipe from either country. No sirree. In fact, I didn’t have any peanut-based stew in either country. And being an Africana Studies major in undergrad and an African Studies graduate student, I have some beef with people who just label things “African,” because Africa is not one monoculture! But this blog is not my place to rant about the politics of names or culture or geography… it is the place to share and celebrate delicious food! As such, I can look past the unfortunate name for this delicious dish and rejoice in its tasty splendor.
In all honesty, I don’t re-make recipes very often. Classics of my mom’s get made over and over again, as do a few hits I’ve found on my own, but I love experimenting and trying new recipes. This stew is an exception: I have made it several times in the past year and enjoy every single bite. We love how the flavors melt together–everything, from the onions to the peanut butter to the ginger to the hot sauce to the kale and beyond, mixes into one filling, flavorful stew. It’s comforting and unique at the same time… familiar enough to be family-friendly, exotic enough to be interesting. And vegetarians–just leave out the chicken… I did at first, but added it to satisfy my husband. Enjoy!
African Peanut Pineapple Stew [adapted from The Way the Cookie Crumbles]
- 1 cup yellow or white onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bunch kale or Swiss chard, chopped coarsely with large stems discarded
- 1 pound chicken breasts, cut in 1 inch cubes
- 1 20-ounce can crushed pineapple in its own juice, undrained
- 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon ginger
- 1 tablespoon hot pepper sauce
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup peanuts, regular salted or honey roasted
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil
- rice prepared with chicken broth
Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the chicken and season with salt and pepper as desired. Stir constantly until chicken is fully cooked, then add onions and garlic and saute until soft and fragrant. Add pineapple to the pot and bring to a simmer, then add the greens and cover. Simmer for about 5 minutes until tender. Stir in the peanut butter, ginger, and hot sauce and simmer for another 5 minutes or until flavors are blended. Fold in cilantro just before serving. Serve over rice and top with peanuts.
I usually serve this dish on top of brown rice cooked in chicken broth, but feel free to be creative! Also, feel free to omit the chicken–my meat-lover of a husband requested that addition!
Click here for the printable version: African Peanut Pineapple Stew
Question of the Day: [And I realize this is a long shot...] Have you ever been to Africa? If so, what kind of food did you eat there? If you haven’t been… have you been to any “African” restaurants? What did you eat?