Ryan Thomas is a university student who enjoys cooking recipes from a wide variety of culinary traditions.
African cuisine does not enjoy much international recognition. This is a terrible shame, for there are a great number of quite respectable culinary traditions that are highly diverse and range across the continent. I passed a summer in Senegal and was deeply impressed by much of the local food. Of course, there is some food that I was not a great fan of: ceebu jen (a dish composed of fish), a number of vegetables, and rice. These dishes wore upon me after some time. But yassa, a delicious onion sauce, was always a treat, and the Senegalese had a host of other wonderfully flavored and pleasant dishes. I must say that the French fries I had there were the best that I had ever eaten.
This recipe, however, comes from Ghana. Of course, Senegal is not the same as Ghana, and I have never visited Ghana. To some extent, this is another problem that holds back African cuisine, since there is so little appreciation for the diversities and differences between nations. Nevertheless, I can only state that my own relationship to African cuisine was one which was nothing if not profitable for myself.
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Perhaps it would be equally so in Senegal, for this recipe is an extremely good one, adaptable to both sun and snow, as it can be eaten hot or cold. A combination of chicken, peanut butter, tomato paste, and vegetables produce a stew that is deliciously peanut-y, filling, and just spicy enough to give a bit of zing while eating it—while not sending one running for milk and water. It is best partnered with rice, but if necessary, it is quite good on its own. It is a recipe that is simple to make, and besides prepping the ingredients, is quite easy to produce.
This recipe is based on one that I found in The African Cookbook by Ber Saddler.
- 2 lb chicken
- 2 medium onions, white
- 4 carrots
- 1 stalk broccoli, stem discarded
- 6 oz tomato paste
- 8 oz peanut butter
- 2/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup white wine, (optional)
- 2 cups rice, (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- Combine the chicken, chopped and peeled onions, salt, pepper, chopped carrots, chopped broccoli, and 1 1/2 quart water in a dutch oven/large saucepan. Simmer until the chicken is done, 45 minutes.
- Add tomato paste, peanut butter, cayenne pepper, and cook 20 more minutes.
- Add wine if desired, correct seasonings as desired, and serve, preferably with rice. If it is too spicy, feel free to add milk. It can be equally eaten both cold and hot.
© 2017 Ryan Thomas