Recipe for Chicken Mafe – a fragrant West African stew with a peanut coconut sauce

1 kg boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed and cut into 2.5cm pieces
1 kg boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 2.5cm pieces
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
3 tsp chopped garlic, divided
1/2 to 1 tsp ground cayenne pepper (use lesser amount for a bit less heat)
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 small yellow onion, finely diced
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and finely diced
1 small jalapeno pepper, seeds and ribs removed, finely diced
4 cups chicken broth, low-sodium store-bought or homemade
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/4 cup drained canned chopped tomato
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp peeled, grated fresh ginger root
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup chopped cilantro or parsley, for garnish

How to
Place the chicken pieces in a large mixing bowl, and add the salt, black pepper, 2 teaspoons of chopped garlic, and cayenne. Use your hands to mix everything together, making sure the spices are distributed all over the chicken.

Wash your hands well.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium high heat. Add the chicken, in batches if necessary to avoid overcrowding the pan, and brown on all sides, then transfer to a platter or bowl.

To the oil remaining in the pan, add the onion, bell peppers, the remaining garlic, and jalapeno. Sauté the vegetables for 4-5 minutes until soft.

Pour in the chicken broth and simmer for 20 minutes, uncovered. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and stir in the peanut butter, tomato paste, canned tomato, thyme, ginger and coconut milk, and simmer for two minutes, whisking to incorporate the ingredients. Return the browned chicken to the pan and cook uncovered over low heat 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is tender and the sauce thickens.

Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley, and serve hot, over rice.

*Originally published 2 May 2017 

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Recipe provided by The Perfect Pantry.
All text and photographs copyright Lydia Walshin 2006-2010 – licensed under Creative Commons.