So What's This All About?

My family is traveling the world one forkful, or kuĂ izi ful, or handful at a time. Follow our blog to see what interesting facts we learn, which country's food becomes our favorite, and which cuisine makes us feel healthiest. There will also be postings of some projects/arts and crafts/activities for preschoolers that we do in our home preschool. Grab your appetite and let's go!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Groundnut Stew with Chicken

Good friends of ours are off the Zambia soon to work with children with special needs. They have developed and will begin incorporating an amazing ministry, as I believe they are flying to Zambia this week. Please check out their website: At a farewell luncheon for them, I wanted to make a dish that was Zambian. Being an impoverished country, where survival is key, googling "Zambian cuisine" was an oxymoron, really. I was able to find this dish, but it may actually be more of a common West African food than Zambian. Nonetheless, it was very good!

Peanuts and sweet potatoes are quite prevalent in many parts of Africa, as well as inexpensive. What I have been discovering about foods of different African countries is the ability to take simple, cheap foods and, with help of a few key spices, creating a tasty dish - a great lesson for us Americans immersed with such plenty and with a certain haughtiness or sense of deservedness of all sorts of gourmet and expensive foods. Another characteristic is food that is filling, as it may be the only meal for the day, and it also needs to fuel them for the hard labor that awaits them in their day.

I made this once overnight in a crockpot and another time in a dutch oven for about an hour. Both were delicious.

Remove the skin from 8-10 chicken pieces (bone-in for best flavor). Wipe dry with a paper towel, and season with a little salt, pepper, and sugar. (The sugar is a little trick from my friend's Laotian mother-in-law!)

Melt 2 or 3 tablespoons oil or butter in a large skillet, browning the chicken on all sides. This will take 5-10 minutes. Remove chicken to dutch oven or crockpot.

While chicken is browning, chop 2 or 3 butternut squash, acorn squash, or sweet potatoes (whichever you prefer), chop 2-3 onions, mince a couple cloves of garlic, and chop an inch or two of fresh ginger.

Saute onions in the pan that you browned the chicken. Add squash or sweet potatoes, adding some water so that it is slightly immmersed, deglazing the pan with a wooden spoon. Add spices: cinnamon, ginger (if not using fresh), garlic powder (if not using fresh), garam masala, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, cumin. If you need measurements, start with 1 teaspoon of each (except the cayenne, of which you should start with 1/4 teaspoon) and add more to taste of the ones you like best!

Mix together till it starts to boil, covering it with lid and simmer 5-10 minutes to soften vegetables. Add cinnamon stick as well.

Pour entire mixture over the chicken (adding stewed tomatoes, if you'd like) and cook in covered dutch oven on medium-low heat for one or two hours or in crockpot on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours.

Serve with cooked rice to soak up the juices!
Silly me, I forgot to take a picture of the final product, but it was very good! You'll just have to trust me on that.

1 comment:

  1. Can't say I've ever sampled Zambian food. Looks like I need to give it a try!