A few weeks ago, fellow LiveMom contributor Lori brought me some African Chicken Stew she’d made. It was warm, sweet, nutty and overall delicious and unlike anything else I’d ever had. Of course, I asked her for the recipe. But, it also inspired me to do some research on African cooking. You see, my family of cooks chooses a theme for Christmas dinner that is anything but traditional. We’ve done curries, Japanese, Mediterranean, Italian, Mexican, you name it. But we hadn’t gotten to African – until this year.
Because Africa is “the world’s second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia” (thank you, Wikipedia), and has had influences from all over the world, there are many takes on “traditional” African cooking. Lori’s stew most likely comes from West Africa, so I started there. We could have fufu (mashed yams, potatoes or cassava) and stewed okra accompanying fish cooked in plantain leaves. Or maybe move into Ethiopian cuisine – such good beef and vegetables, plus I could get that wonderful sour bread from Taste of Ethiopia. So many choices!
Do you have an African recipe you’d share with me for our Christmas dinner? Post it in Comments or post a link. I’d love to have some recommendations!
Lori’s African Chicken Stew
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 cups water
2 cans (15 ounces each) chicken broth
10-15 whole cardamom seeds in cheese cloth
2 Tablespoons ground cumin
2 Tablespoons red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper, to taste2 heaping Tablespoons minced garlic
1 white onion, chopped
2 cups shredded carrot
2 cups shredded zucchini
2 cups shredded sweet potato
2 cups shredded potato
4 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
Chopped peanuts and golden raisins, for garnish
In a large slow cooker, put in chicken, water, broth, carmadom seeds, cumin, red pepper, salt, and pepper. Cook on High for 3-4 hours. Take chicken out and shred it or chop it finely. Turn slow cooker to Low and put chicken back in with garlic, onion, carrots, zucchini, sweet potatoes and potatoes. Cook for 2 more hours. Add peanut butter and brown sugar, and cook on Low for at least 30 more minutes, and up to 1 hour.
Sample dish and add more seasonings if you like (“I added more brown sugar and red pepper before serving,” says Lori). Serve over the steamed rice or couscous and top with peanuts and golden raisins, if desired.
Written by: Shannon Oelrich