West African Peanut Chicken

West African Peanut ChickenRecipe
Lee Harrelson
A couple of years ago we attended an "Africa" night at a local university, where a variety of wonderful African foods were served for dinner. The thing I liked best was a delicious peanut chicken dish that sent me scampering for a recipe as soon as I got home.  My family loves this adaptation of the original, served over rice. The original recipe calls for homemade peanut butter. If you'd like to use fresh ground peanut butter, you can grind your own at the grocery store,  whirl some roasted peanuts in your food processor, or buy a jar of natural peanut butter.  


Serves 4 to 6
Total time: 40 Minutes

Recipe from

Oxmoor House

Recipe Time

Total: 40 Minutes


1/4 cup peanut oil (or any cooking oil)
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
3 medium-size onions, minced or pureed in food processor
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups pureed tomatoes (or 2 cups tomato sauce and 1 cup water)
1 cup water
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes (optional)
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon salt
1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 ripe tomatoes, diced


1. Heat oil over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes in a deep pot or large heavy skillet. Add chicken pieces, half at a time, and fry on both sides until nicely browned. Once all chicken pieces are cooked, set aside in a covered bowl to keep warm.

2. Add onions and garlic in same pot; cook until onions are soft and begin to brown, stirring occasionally. Add pureed tomatoes and 1 cup water; reduce heat to medium, bring to a simmer, and let simmer for a few minutes.

3. Return chicken to pot. Stir in peanut butter. Mixture will look clumpy for a minute, but will mix in nicely once it heats up. Add cayenne pepper, black pepper, and salt. Simmer over low heat 10 to 15 minutes.

4. Stir in diced green pepper and tomatoes; simmer for 3 to 4 more minutes.