West African Chicken in Peanut Sauce (Mafe)
with root vegetables / couscous
It's been a few years since we brought back this West African stew that features chicken and vegetables in a flavorful peanut-based sauce. The result is rich and satisfying served over couscous. This meal was last featured in 2018.
West African Chicken in Peanut Sauce (Mafe):
- Sweet potatoes - 12 oz , peeled and chopped
- Turnips - 12 oz , peeled and chopped (sub carrots)
- Bell peppers, red - 1 , diced
- Peanuts, roasted and unsalted - 1/4 cup , chopped
- Ginger, fresh - 1 tsp , grated
- Garlic - 2 cloves , chopped
- Peanut butter, creamy - 1/2 cup
- Tomato paste - 2 Tbsp
- Stock, any type - 2 cups
- Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/2 tsp
- Chicken breasts, boneless and skinless - 1 lbs , chopped
- Cilantro leaves - 3 Tbsp , chopped
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp
- Limes - 1/2 , juice of
- Butter - 1 Tbsp
- Stock, any type - 1 cup (sub water)
- Couscous, uncooked - 3/4 cup
- Salt - 1/4 tsp
- Couscous - Combine butter and stock (portion for couscous) in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Stir in couscous and remove from heat. Cover pan and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and season with salt. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead)
- Sweet potatoes / Turnips / Bell peppers / Peanuts / Ginger / Garlic - Prep as directed. Combine sweet potatoes and turnips. Store bell peppers and peanuts in their own containers. Combine ginger and garlic in another container. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make peanut sauce - Whisk together peanut butter, tomato paste, stock (portion for Mafe), ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Chicken - Chop into bite-sized pieces, season with some salt and pepper and tenderize with a fork.
- Cilantro - Chop cilantro.
- Place sweet potatoes and turnips into a microwave-safe pan or bowl. Cover with wet paper towel and microwave on high until sweet potatoes are tender, ~3 minutes. (Turnips should still have a bit of crunch.) Season lightly with some salt and pepper.
- Heat a Dutch oven or wok over medium-high heat and add first part of cooking oil. When oil is hot, sear chicken until golden brown on all sides, ~4 minutes total (it may not be cooked all the way through, but will finish in the sauce). Remove from pan and set aside. Return the pan to the burner and reduce heat to medium.
- To heated pan, add second part of oil and bell peppers. Saute until starting to soften, 2 to 3 minutes
- Add sweet potatoes, turnips, and peanut sauce and bring to a simmer. Simmer until sauce reduces slightly, ~3 minutes.
- Return chicken to pan, spooning sauce over the top. Continue to simmer (don’t let it boil or the chicken will turn tough) until chicken is cooked through, ~4 minutes more.
- Stir in lime juice. Taste stew and season with some salt and pepper. Top with cilantro and chopped peanuts.
- If couscous was made ahead, reheat in the microwave.
- Serve Mafe over couscous. Enjoy!