Peanut Stew with Chicken and Sweet Potato

Something similar to the Singapore Mee Rebus, a yellow noodle dish with peanut sauce, the traditional African American Peanut Stew with Chicken and Sweet Potato may have a tedious process to prepare but the flavours and aroma is worth the effort.

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 60 min

INGREDIENTS
For Sweet Potato Stock

  • 1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 small or 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into very large chunks
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 2 black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 6 cups water

For the main dish

  • 3 cups shredded chicken
  • 1½ cups natural peanut butter
  • 3½ cups chopped fresh tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp curry powder, plus more to taste
  • 1 tsp paprika powder, depending on heat preference
  • 4 cups sweet potato stock
  • salt to taste, starting with hefty pinch of kosher salt
  • ½ cup chopped roasted peanuts
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro

METHOD

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onions, celery and carrots. Sauté for about 8-10 minutes, until the veggies have softened and released some liquid.
  2. Add the sweet potato chunks and the water, along with the salt and whole spices. Bring to a boil, and then lower the heat to maintain a gentle simmer.
  3. Simmer until the sweet potato chunks are soft, about 30 minutes.
  4. Fish out the peppercorns and cloves. Mash the sweet potatoes against the side of the pot and leave the rest chunky.
  5. Place everything but the peanuts and cilantro into another large soup pot. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring.
  6. Once the peanut butter has blended with the stew from the stirring, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Taste for more curry powder and salt–keep in mind though that if your peanuts are salted you want it a little under-salted.
  8. Ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped roasted peanuts and chopped cilantro.
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Thai Red Curry with Kabocha Pumpkin

The sweetness from kabocha pumpkin coupled with the spiciness of the red curry paste and the saltiness of the fish sauce,  is the perfect substitute for yellow curry. There is a wonderful fragrant flavour that brings the curry to a whole new level beyond a simply thai curry dish. It is a creamy dish because of the added coconut milk which integrates well with Thai flavours.
Ingredients:
1 large kabocha pumpkin
300g of breast meat*, cut into bite sized chunks
1 large handful french beans, cut into small pieces
1 red bell pepper,  diced
2 kaffir lime leaves, torn
6 basil leaves, chopped
1 tbsp canola oil
3 tbsp red thai curry paste
1 (15-oz) can coconut milk
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
2 red chilli padi, pierced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle olive oil on a foil lined sheet tray. Slice kabocha pumpkin, remove seeds, and place cut-side down on the sheet tray. Roast squash halves for about 30 minutes until tender. Remove and let cool completely.
  2. In a large pot or deep pan, heat the canola oil over medium high heat. Stir fry the chicken breast meat till cooked. Add the curry paste and mash into hot oil so all the paste gets incorporated. Then, slowly drizzle in the coconut milk, whisking continuously until all milk has been added and the mixture is consistent.
  3. Add water, torn kaffir lime leaves, basil, fish sauce, brown sugar and red chili padi and bring to a simmer. Then, add red bell peppers and green bean halves and continue simmering sauce for about 15 minutes until vegetables are just cooked but not mushy.
  4. Peel or slice kabocha pumpkin away from peel. Chop into large chunks and add along to the curry sauce.
  5. This dish is best served warm with rice.
*You may change chicken to tofu cut for a vegetarian option.
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