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.
Plus: More Chicken Recipes and Tips
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.
Serve the stew with rice or egg noodles to capture every drop of the distinctive sauce.
A simple, fruity red wine such as a Beaujolais (or, if it's December through March, a Beaujolais Nouveau) will make a lively companion to the peanut butter in this stew.
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