In Africa peanuts are called ground nuts, because they grow underground. I live in Virginia, where peanuts are plentiful and delightfully affordable. This recipe is inspired by West African recipes that used sweet potatoes and collard greens. Sweet potatoes are sometimes cheap where I live, but sometimes kind of pricey, so I tend to use carrots instead. They have a similar texture, appearance and flavor, and they are super cheap. I use cabbage instead of collards or kale because they are a leafy green, but much more affordable to me than other fresh greens. The first time I made this recipe it was to use up some chunky peanut butter that had been collecting dust in my pantry. My family really prefers creamy peanut butter; they don’t like the texture of the peanut chunks in chunky peanut butter. This recipe turned out so yummy that it’s gone into regular rotation for us. I use whichever peanut butter I have on hand, chunky or more usually, creamy. The peanut butter gives the sauce a delightfully creamy texture, and it tastes good too.
If you prefer to use sweet potatoes and/or collard green (or kale, or mustard greens, or even spinach) instead of the carrots and cabbage that’s fine. The dish still turns out tasty.
I use plain canned no-salt-added tomatoes most often in this recipe, but if you have canned tomatoes with green chiles, or canned tomatoes with chiles, lime and cilantro, they taste really good in this recipe.
African Peanut Butter Chicken with Greens
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken meat, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (or about 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder)
- 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1 teaspoon dry ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper OR 1/2-teaspoon habanero hot pepper sauce OR 1 to 2-teaspoons sriracha hot sauce
- 3 cups peeled, chopped carrots (6 to 8)
- 3 cups chopped or shredded cabbage
- 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth (made from bouillon is fine)
- 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added tomatoes OR 1 (10-ounce) can tomatoes and green chiles
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 cup peanut butter
I use a single, gigantic chicken breast for this recipe. Usually they are 1 to 1-1/4 pounds.
First, prepare all of the vegetables. Peel the onions and carrots. Chop them into small pieces. Shred or chop the cabbage. Mince the garlic if necessary. Set the carrots and cabbage aside.
Heat the oil in a large saucepot or a gigantic skillet. Add the onion and minced garlic. If you’re using dry garlic then wait to add it with the curry powder. Allow the onion to fry over medium heat. Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces. Add it to the skillet with the onion. Raise the heat a bit and fry until the chicken is lightly browned. It may not be cooked all the way through yet. That’s okay.
Add the curry powder, ginger, cayenne, and if you’re using garlic powder, add it now too. Fry the spices with the chicken and onions for a minute or so, to bring out their flavor. It smells wonderful.
Add all of the remaining ingredients. The peanut butter will be thick and stiff. You have to stir it into the mixture with a fork until it smooths out and thickens the sauce.
Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and allow it to simmer for about 20 minutes, or until the veggies are tender and the chicken is cooked through. The sauce will thicken up a bit as it cooks. If necessary, add a little broth or water to thin it down. Use your best judgment here. Some people like it soupy, some people like it saucy.
If you have fresh parsley or cilantro then you can add 1/4 to 1/3-cup, finely chopped, a few minutes before serving. I especially like the flavor of the cilantro, but the dish still tastes very good without it.
Serve over cooked rice. If you start the rice right before you begin preparing the vegetables then it will be done in plenty of time for the chicken. I always sprinkle raisins on top of mine. If it were up to me, I’d add 1/3-cup of raisins to the dish and allow them to cook with the chicken. My family, however, hates fruit combined with meat, so I only add raisins to my dish of food, instead of the entire dish.
This is very filling, and has a mild flavor, even with all the spices. If you are feeding very young children, you may omit the red pepper. Older kids will like it with the pepper. To make a meal serve it with rice, hot buttered corn tortillas, as a flat bread, and canned pineapple or pears on the side.
Per Serving: 328 Calories; 18g Fat (45.3% calories from fat); 28g Protein; 20g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber; 46mg Cholesterol; 437mg Sodium.
Calories By Percentage: 45% Fat; 23% Carbohydrate; 32% Protein.
Exchanges: 1/2 Grain(Starch); 3-1/2 Lean Meat; 2-1/2 Vegetable; 2-1/2 Fat.
Use chicken breast for the meat. Cut away all of the visible fat. Use 2-teaspoon of vegetable oil instead of 2-tablespoons. Make sure the chicken broth you use is fat-free. Reduce the peanut butter to 1/3-cup. The rest of it stays the same.
Assuming 6 servings.
Per Serving: 259 Calories; 11g Fat (35.7% calories from fat); 26g Protein; 19g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 46mg Cholesterol; 402mg Sodium.
Calories By Percentage: 36% Fat; 27% Carbohydrate; 38% Protein.
Exchanges: 3 Lean Meat; 2-1/2 Vegetable; 1-1/2 Fat.