Chicken Mafe

This rich and hearty West African stew is a spicy, fragrant and totally soul-satisfying. We like to serve this over steamed rice. This recipe makes 6 servings.

PREP TIME: 1 minutes
COOK TIME: 1 hours 0 minutes

4 pounds chicken pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil

for the spice rub:
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 small shallot, peeled and minced
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cayenne pepper, or to taste

For the sauce:
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, seeded, cored an finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded, cored an finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
4 cups chicken broth or stock
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 small tomato, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon peeled, grated fresh ginger
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup chopped cilantro, for garnish

Combine all spice rub ingredients in a small bowl. Rub all over chicken pieces; cover and refrigerate chicken for one hour.

Heat a Dutch oven to medium-high and add 1 tablespoon oil. Sear chicken pieces on all sides, turning the chicken with kitchen tong to make sure all sides get browned. You may have to work in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. Once the chicken pieces are browned, remove to a plate and se aside.

Add remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan along with onion, bell peppers, carrot, and jalapeño. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften. Add garlic and tomato paste and cook for one minute more.

Add chicken stock or broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and add peanut butter, coconut milk, tomato, thyme, ginger, salt and pepper. Add chicken pieces back in and cook for 40-45 minutes, or until the chicken's juices run clear. Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.