The Slowcook at Spydog Farm The Slowcook at Spydog Farm

Kids Make Chicken-Vegetable Stew With Peanuts

January 15th, 2010 · No Comments · Posted in Ethnic, kids, Recipes

Fresh ingredients make a delicious African stew

Fresh ingredients make a delicious African stew

Who knew turnips and peanut butter could taste so good together?

One of the things we like about the African food we are making in our food appreciation classes is the use of fresh, whole ingredients and lots of vegetables. This stew is a perfect example, and something we could easily grow very fond of in these dark days of winter. According to the cookbook we are currently using, South of the Sahara, this dish originates in Mali, but has become so integrated into the cuisine of neighboring Senegal it is considered a national dish called mafe (mah-fay).

It starts with browned chicken and browned onion, then incorporates all sorts of nutritious and inexpensive vegetables such as cabbage, sweet potatoes and turnips. I suppose you could toss in almost anything you like, as long as it will stand up to long cooking. But you could even add some tender vegetables such as snow peas at the very end.

The original recipe calls for whole chickens, but for a class it’s much easier to simply cut up some chicken breast. Or, you could use boneless thighs if you prefer dark meat. If you are using whole chicken, simply cut it into convenient pieces as you normally would for frying.

This is one of those dishes that becomes great fun for kids because there are so many vegetables to peel and chop. As we’ve discovered in our food appreciation classes, kids will busy themselves all day with a vegetable peeler and a box grater. They also learn to try and like new foods if given an opportunity to work with them with their hands. We had some kids begging for seconds on this stew.

Heat three tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil at the bottom of a heavy pot or Dutch oven and brown the chicken (one pound breast meat, if using) all over. Remove the chicken and add one medium onion, cut into medium dice. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and cook until lightly browned. Then add your vegetables, peeled as needed and cut into bite size pieces: 1/4 cabbage, 1 turnip, 2 carrots, 1 small sweet potato. Add 1 red chili pepper, such as a ripe jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped. Cover with 1 1/2 cups water, then stir in 1/2 cup peanut butter whisked smooth with 1/2 cup water. Bring everything to a boil, then lower heat and continue to cook, covered.

When the root vegetable are almost cooked through, add a dozen fresh okra pods, stem ends removed and cut into bite-size pieces. Finally, stir in one medium onion, grated.

If the stew seems too thick, simply add a little more water. You will soon find that it tastes every bit as good as it smells.

Leave a Comment

Please note: Your comment may have to wait for approval to be published to ensure that we don't accidentally publish "spam". We thank you for understanding.


There are no comments yet...Kick things off by filling out the form below.