Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Chicken in Peanut Sauce

I always enjoy going out for ethnic foods and occassionally I try to make these different cuisines at home. It's fun to learn about the ingredients a culture uses and how to combine them to create unique flavors. This recipe is from North Africa, which is out of my comfort zone, but upon looking at the ingredient list I felt right at home. How could I go wrong with chicken, peanut butter and sweet potatoes? Combined with fragrant ginger and spicy red pepper flakes this is a sweet/spicy/smoky delight. The flavors blend beautifully, and the dish gets better the longer it cooks. It is so easy to make and will have your house smelling delicious! Enjoy this special dinner tonight- and make extras for leftovers!

Chicken in Peanut Sauce
A delicious, sweet and savory North African specialty.
Serves 4

1 T. oil
1 lb. chicken thighs, cut in 1 in. pieces
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
½ inch fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 tsp. crushed red pepper
2 cups chicken stock
1 T. tomato paste
½ cup smooth or crunchy peanut butter
1 tomato, peeled, seeded and diced
1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed in bite size pieces
1 tsp. salt
Chopped scallions and fresh cilantro, to garnish

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Saute the chicken until browned all over. Add the onions, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onion is transparent. Add the stock and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.

Add the tomato paste and salt, and simmer for 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, adding water if necessary to keep it moist. Meanwhile, cook the sweet potato in boiling water for 5 minutes to soften. Drain.

Add the peanut butter, tomatoes, and sweet potato to the pan and cook for 20 minutes, until combined and tender. Add chopped scallions and cilantro to garnish. Serve atop a bed of warm rice with soy sauce.

Recipe adapted from Far Out Cookbook by Sarah Lang

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