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West African Chicken in Peanut Sauce (Mafe)
with root vegetables / couscous

Active: 45 min Total: 45 min
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.
Tags

Ingredients

Metric
Servings:
4
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
Couscous:
  • Butter - 1 Tbsp
  • Stock, any type - 1 cup (sub water)
  • Couscous, uncooked - 3/4 cup
  • Salt - 1/4 tsp

Nutrition Facts

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Prep

  1. 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)
  2. 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)
  3. 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)
  4. Chicken - Chop into bite-sized pieces, season with some salt and pepper and tenderize with a fork.
  5. Cilantro - Chop cilantro.

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Make

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. To heated pan, add second part of oil and bell peppers. Saute until starting to soften, 2 to 3 minutes
  4. Add sweet potatoes, turnips, and peanut sauce and bring to a simmer. Simmer until sauce reduces slightly, ~3 minutes.
  5. 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.
  6. Stir in lime juice. Taste stew and season with some salt and pepper. Top with cilantro and chopped peanuts.
  7. If couscous was made ahead, reheat in the microwave.
  8. Serve Mafe over couscous. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

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Reviews

Ratings

Original (33)
Gluten-free (2)
Paleo (1)
Vegetarian (15)

Most Helpful

Really liked this! Made on a Sunday and wanted it to simmer, so I put buttercup (not butternut) squash and celery root in raw (I didn't have sweet potatoes or turnips!) And added an extra cup of water. Sauteed peppers, added everything else and simmered with lid on until tender, then removed lid and simmered for awhile to reduce. Maybe took an hour altogether? Also added two chopped roasted red pepper because I did have enough raw bell. Will be sure to try again as originally written with sweet potato and turnips. And cilantro! We loved it! Reminded us of Thank You Omu and her thick red stew! ♥️

By: Markell
Posted: Dec 21, 2020
Diet: Vegetarian
1 Helpful

31 reviews

Because I don't do difficult... West African Chicken in Almond Sauce (also called Mafe): Sweet potatoes - 1 Large, chopped Turnips - 12 oz, 3 small to medium, chopped (sub carrots) Bell peppers, red - 1, diced Stock, any type - 2 cups Almond butter, creamy - 1/2 cup Tomato paste - 2 Tbsp Ginger, fresh - 1 tsp, grated Garlic - 2 cloves, chopped Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/4 to 1/2 tsp Chicken breasts, 3 to 4, chopped Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp Cilantro leaves - 3 Tbsp, chopped Limes - 1/2, juice of Cashews - 1/4 to 1/2 cup Quinoa: Butter - 1 Tbsp Stock, any type - 2 cup (sub water) Quinoa, uncooked - 1 cup Chop Sweet Potato and Turnips. Place in large bowl and lightly season with salt and pepper. Microwave for 10 to 12 minutes. Almond Sauce: Combine the stock, almond butter, tomato paste, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Chicken - Chop into bite-sized pieces, season with some salt and pepper and tenderize with a fork. Cilantro - Chop cilantro and set aside with the Cashews. Quinoa Directions: Combine stock and butter in a pot. Bring to a boil. Add Quinoa. Cook about 15 minutes, and remove top. Check for water at the bottom, and continue cooking till water is gone. Remove from heat and set aside. Mafe Directions: Bring a large pot or pan to a medium high heat and add the oil to cover. When hot cook chicken till about half done. Maybe 4 minutes. If necessary, add a little more oil. Then, add the red bell pepper. Cook maybe 1 to 2 minutes or just go to the next step. Add microwaved sweet potatoes and turnips. And, add almond sauce and bring to a simmer. Simmer until sauce reduces slightly, ~3 minutes. Add about 1 tablespoon corn starch to a little water and stir, then pour into the pot. I thought it looked too water. The corn starch will thicken it. Continue to cook for maybe 5 minutes or till thickened and remove from heat. Let cool for 15 minutes. Stir in lime juice. Taste stew and season with some salt and pepper. Top with cilantro and cashews.

By: Shawn
Posted: Oct 23, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

When I tasted the sauce it was great but somehow when combined with cous cous it turned quite flat. Maybe a texture thing.

By: Amy
Posted: May 20, 2021
Diet: Vegetarian
0 Helpful

Really good - needed juice from the full lime at the end to brighten up the flavors. Do wonder how I could bring the calories down to make this again though - maybe cutting the sweet potatoes, since they didn’t feel necessary. The chicken and carrots are plenty.

By: Lynn
Posted: Feb 01, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

This was good. I think I might have liked it better with rice. Although the only couscous I could find was in a box, so might try again with better couscous. Left overs were also very good.

By: Barbie
Posted: Jan 28, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful

Very good and very easy!

By: Kimberly
Posted: Jan 21, 2021
Diet: Paleo
0 Helpful

Tasty! Might use rotisserie chicken for this instead.

By: Felice
Posted: Jan 10, 2021
Diet: Original
0 Helpful