Naturally Zimbabwean

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Sweet Potato Peanut Butter Stew

Prep time: 20 minutes, cooking time: 1 hour 55 minutes.

Serves 6-8


  • 1-1.5 kg chicken legs, thighs and/or wings
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • An 8 or so cm piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • 6-8 garlic cloves, chopped roughly
  • 1-1.5 kg sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 400g can of peeled and chopped tomatoes
  • 1 litre chicken stock
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of fresh chopped coriander


  1. Brown the chicken. Heat the vegetable oil in a large pan set over medium-high heat. Salt the chicken pieces well, pat them dry and brown them in the oil. Don’t crowd the pot, so do this in batches. Once browned, set the chicken pieces aside.
  2. Sauté the vegetables. Sauté the onion in the oil for 3-4 minutes, stirring often and scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté another 1-2 minutes, then add the sweet potato chunks and stir well to combine.
  3. Cook the stew. Add the chicken, chicken broth, tomatoes, peanut butter, peanuts, ground coriander and cayenne pepper and stir well to combine. Bring to a simmer and taste for salt, adding if needed.
  4. Cover the pot and simmer gently for 90 minutes (check after an hour), or until the chicken meat easily falls off the bone and the sweet potatoes are tender.

Optional: Remove bones and chop chicken. Remove the chicken pieces and set them in a bowl to cool, until cool enough to touch. Shred the meat off the bones and put the meat back in the pot. Remove and discard the skin if you want, or chop it up and put it back into the pot.

 Adjust seasonings. Adjust the seasonings for salt and cayenne pepper, then add as much black pepper as you think you can stand—the stew should be peppery.

Stir in the fresh coriander and serve by itself, or with African brown rice (mupunga).

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