Ghanaian Groundnut Chicken Stew


 In this West African stew, chicken is cooked in a thick peanut (or groundnut) sauce, brought to life with fiery scotch bonnet pepper and hot ginger. I make this with my Ghanaian grandad in mind, though because I’ve never actually been to Ghana myself I can’t promise that this is a completely authentic version. And yet I’m not sure that authenticity is really the point here: it’s just about connecting with your heritage, wherever that lies, and eating to feed your soul.

Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
8 chicken thighs or drumsticks, skinless
2 medium onions, finely chopped
2 red peppers, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
6cm fresh ginger, grated
1 scotch bonnet chilli pepper
150g smooth peanut butter
6 tablespoons tomato purée
600ml chicken stock
50g roasted salted peanuts
Small handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped

Heat the oil in a large pan and fry the chicken pieces over a medium-high heat for 8–10 minutes, turning halfway, until they are golden brown on each side. If you crowd the chicken, it’ll steam instead of browning, so cook in batches if your pan isn’t big enough.

Set the browned meat aside and fry the onions and peppers in the same pan over a low-medium heat, adding a splash more oil if you need to. After 10 minutes, add the garlic and ginger. Pierce the scotch bonnet pepper a few times to help it release a little of that blast of heat, then add it, whole, to the pan. Cook for a couple more minutes before adding the peanut butter and tomato purée.

Once everything is well combined, slowly pour in the chicken stock and return the chicken pieces to the pan. Add a little extra hot water if the liquid doesn’t quite cover the meat.

Put a lid on the pan, turn down the heat and leave to simmer for 25–30 minutes, stirring often. Taste the sauce as you go to check the level of spice, and take out the scotch bonnet if the heat gets too much. Remove the lid and reduce for 5 minutes before serving with plenty of rice and a topping of salted peanuts and fresh coriander.

  ©Charlotte Bland, 2015

©Charlotte Bland, 2015