(No worries, Be Happy)
Happiness is the ultimate goal of life to me. No matter what I do, what I eat, how much I earn or how much I spend! Whatever we all do, we do that for the sake of our happiness and inner peace. I agree, food offers me a great deal of happiness and cooking makes me calm and thoughtful. But at the end of the day I also need the ‘feel-good’ factor which I get from looking at posters of my desired destinations like Africa. I might not have stepped in that continent yet but someday I will; Positive! As of now I can manage with a delicious African dish called, Spicy Peanut Chicken.
Spicy Peanut Chicken is a West African delicacy with loads of whole spices, crushed & blanched peanuts and a balanced tanginess of tomatoes. It is a burst of African flavors in short. Traditionally, crushed peanuts are blanched and pureed and then added to the stew (yes, it is also known as Spicy Peanut Chicken Stew) and also simmered for long hours. As these days we are on wheel (I mean many of us behave so), we need everything on speed dial. So we are replacing the simmering part by cooking in sections to cut down the total time and also we are using store bought peanut butter (see, another good thing to have a jar of PB in pantry) instead of blanching and pureeing freshly crushed peanuts (again hell lot of time and hard work is saved).
Here is the easy and quick recipe of West African Spicy Peanut Butter Chicken.
Oh yes one more thing, this whole meal will provide 288 calorie only!
Preparation Time: 15 mins
Cooking Time: 30 mins
Resting Time: 0 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Yield: 6 servings
Red onion (large): 2, finely chopped
Red bell pepper: 1, diced
Yellow bell pepper: 1, diced
Tomatoes (medium): 2, roughly diced
Garlic: 2 tbsp, finely chopped
Ginger: 1½ tbsp, grated
Butter: 1 tbsp
Peanut oil: 2 tbsp
For the Marinade:
Chicken: 1 kg (including drumsticks or leg pieces and breast pieces)
Salt: ½ tsp
White pepper powder: ¼ tsp
Bay leaves: 2
Cayenne powder: 2 tbsp
Coriander powder: 3 tsp
Cumin powder: 3 tsp
For the Sauce / Gravy / Stew:
White pepper powder: 1 tsp
Peanut butter: ½ cup
Chicken stock: ½ cup + ½ cup
Steamed white Rice
Soft boiled eggs
Handful of Roasted Peanuts
Handful of Coriander Leaves
Large heavy bottomed nonstick pan
Food processor or mixer
Before you start cooking make sure you keep all the ingredients handy. Once you start cooking, you won’t get time to find your spices or other ingredients. To speed up your cooking don’t skip these three steps.
a> Mix all the dry spices in a small mixing bowl and keep it handy.
b> Make a thick puree of tomatoes without adding any extra liquid.
c> Warm ½ cup of chicken stock and mix the peanut butter with it with then whisker until blends well. If you don’t have chicken stock, use regular water.
Wash and clean the chicken pieces. Pat them dry with kitchen towel. Make sure there is no water at all. Mix all the ingredients under ‘For the Marinade’. Rub the seasoning well on both sides of the chicken and leave for 10 mins. Place the heavy bottomed pan on medium flame and melt 1 tbsp of butter in it. When foam appears, add chicken pieces carefully in the pan and arrange them in a single layer with the skin side down. Fry for 10-12 mins or until chicken is browned, turning the chicken pieces once only (not blackened). Remove & arrange the browned chicken into another clean dish/bowl. (See Tips)
Reduce the flame and scrap off the browned strains (if any). Put the pan on medium flame and add diced peppers into the pan. Sauté with a wooden spoon for 1-2 mins; add butter if necessary. Peppers shouldn’t get brown color. Remove from flame and keep aside until needed. (See Tips)
In another deep bottomed pan heat rest of the oil and fry chopped onion with garlic until onion is soft and translucent. Add ginger and fry 1 more minute. It will take approximately 4-5 mins maximum. (See Tips)
Add the spices (see, ingredients under ‘Spices’) and fry for 1 minute. Add pureed tomato and fry for another minute or until raw smell of tomatoes is gone. Once done, add sautéed bell peppers and chicken pieces. Stir to coat well.
Pour the peanut butter & chicken stock mixture into the pan and bring it to boil. When bubbles come vigorously liquid will start thickening. Pour rest of the chicken stock and stir continuously. (See Tips)
Arrange the chicken in a single layer on vegetables. Make sure to keep the skin side up and bring it to boil. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 15-20 mins or until chicken is done. Adjust seasoning and switch off the flame. (See Tips)
Transfer to the serving bowls; topped with 1-2 tsp roasted peanuts and chipped coriander leaves. Serve hot with steamed white/brown rice and soft boiled eggs.
This West African Spicy Peanut Butter Chicken can be stored upto five days in any air tight glass container. But it tastes best when served fresh. To get the best taste, reheat just before serving; add 1 tsp peanut butter on the top and serve immediately.
1. If chicken have water in it, butter may spatter while adding to the hot pan.
If butter turns brown, lower the heat. Don’t try to scrap off; it will ruin the entire dish.
Turn the chicken pieces once only; otherwise chicken will be over cooked and blackened for sure.
If you have small pan, fry chicken in batches but don’t over crowd the pan.
2. Make sure to scrap off all browned traces otherwise the entire dish will be ruined. If it is blackened, use another fresh pan.
3. Take care not to burn veggies.
6. Better to pour the peanut butter mixture with one hand and whisk with the other while adding the liquid into the hot pan.
7. Keep stirring in between to avoid the peanut butter mixture sticking at the bottom of the pan.
Eat Tasty, Be Healthy!