Peanut butter and okra flavor and thicken this tasty African stew. You can substitute green beans for the okra, if you like; the consistency of the sauce won't be quite the same, but it will still be thick enough to cling to the chicken.
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2 tablespoons cooking oil, more if needed
1 chicken (3 to 3 1/2 pounds), cut into 8 pieces
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes, drained
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 3/4 cups water
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 10-ounce package frozen sliced okra
How to Make It
In a large pot, heat the oil over moderately high heat. Season the chicken pieces with 1/4 teaspoon each of the salt and black pepper. Cook until browned, turning, about 8 minutes in all. Remove. Pour off all but 1 tablespoon fat from the pot.
Reduce the heat to moderately low. Add the onion to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and then the tomatoes and cayenne. Return the chicken legs and thighs to the pot and stir in 2 cups of the water. Bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered, for 10 minutes.
Whisk together the peanut butter and the remaining 3/4 cup water until smooth. Add this mixture to the stew along with the chicken breasts and wings, the okra and the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 1/4 of teaspoon black pepper. Cook, partially covered, until the okra is just done, about 10 minutes.
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