The first time where I tried chicken stew with peanut butter was back in the Year 2000. Hubby and I went for a free and easy holiday to Perth. During our stay, we booked a local four-wheel drive cum camping trip to explore Western Australia. Our driver cum tour guide was also our chef. Breakfasts and lunches were usually cereals, sandwiches and fruits. At night, we had either BBQ dinner or simple stews with rice. One of the stews I remembered was peanut butter with chicken and some vegetables. Our chef started with cutting up the vegetables and chicken. With some hot oil (or butter) in the pot, he sauteed the onions, chicken, tomatoes etc ... poured in canned tomatoes and water. When the content started bubbling, he took out a bottle of peanut butter and scooped a few big spoonfuls of peanut butter into the stew. I was thinking then, what was he doing??? peanut butter in a savory dish???
If you have never tried peanut butter in chicken stew, let me tell you: IT IS DELICIOUS! Peanut butter adds richness and flavour to this dish. Depending on your preference, you can always adjust the amount of peanut butter to add to the stew.
Prepare a big pot of this stew, keep a portion in the freezer, just reheat and serve on another day. Keep some extra sauce in a separate container and use the sauce for your next pasta meal. One dish into 3 meals! Easy and economical. I managed to squeeze in a 4th dish - spicy chicken buns, by using a small portion of the reserved sauce, cook with some shredded chicken, sliced onion, mushrooms and curry powder, as filling for my breakfast buns.
8 chicken drums (or other chicken parts)
1 big onion, cut into big chunks
1 carrot, cut into big chunks
Some fresh button mushrooms, halved
A few black pitted olives, sliced
1 cup of canned chopped tomato & sauce
2 heaped tbsp peanut butter
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground paprika
1 tsp mixed dried herbs
1 to 2 tsp dried chilli flakes
1 bay leaf
Few cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1) Start with marinating the chicken pieces with some salt and pepper (I added a teaspoon of mixed spice in the marinate). Leave it aside while you gather and prepare the rest of the ingredients.
2) Heat up some oil in a pan over moderate high heat (or a wok which I find easier to work with). Stir fry the chopped onions and minced garlic till fragrant. Add in the carrot and button mushrooms. Add the chicken pieces to the pan and stir to combine with the other ingredients till fragrant. Pour in the chopped tomatoes and its sauce. Add in the black olives and the rest of the ingredients (except peanut butter). Add sufficient water to cover all the ingredients. Transfer to a pot. Cover, bring to boil before adjusting to low heat to simmer for about 20 minutes.
3) Stir in the peanut butter and simmer for another 20 to 30 minutes, stirring frequently to make sure the peanut butter does not stick to the base of the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4) Cover and keep it aside for another 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with a pinch of parsley flakes and served with rice or bread.