Hkatenkwan

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Soups | Hkatenkwan, Groundnut Stew

(Ghanaian chicken and groundnut stew)

The marriage of tomatoes and ground peanuts in stews is popular in sub-Saharan African cooking. Hkatenkwan, or nkatenkwan, is a tasty version of the dish enjoyed in Ghana. Chicken, sometimes smoked fish, and vegetables simmer in a tomatoey broth. Towards the end of cooking, the broth is thickened with peanut butter.

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This rich, filling stew is traditionally served with hard-boiled eggs and various condiments to sprinkle over the top. Peanuts are known as groundnuts in Africa.

4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • Chicken, cut into serving pieces -- 3 1/2 pounds
  • Salt and pepper -- to season
  • Oil -- 3 tablespoon
  • Onion, minced -- 1
  • Garlic, minced -- 3 to 4 cloves
  • Hot chile peppers, minced -- 2 to 4
  • Tomatoes, chopped or crushed -- 1 cup
  • Water or broth -- 4 cups
  • Salt and pepper -- to taste
  • Natural peanut butter -- 1 cup
  • Okra, cut into rounds, or green beans, trimmed -- 2 cups
  • Hard-boiled eggs, peeled (optional) -- 6

Method

  1. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high flame. Brown the chicken pieces, a few at a time, on all sides in the hot oil. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  2. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions, garlic and chile peppers. Sauté until cooked down and the onion becomes translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes to reduce the liquid in the tomatoes a little.
  3. Add the water or broth, browned chicken pieces, salt and pepper to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 45 minutes.
  4. In a small bowl mix the peanut butter with about 1 cup of the simmering stew liquid and stir until the peanut butter is smooth. Stir the peanut butter into the simmering stew. Then stir in the okra or green beans and the hard-boiled eggs. Simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes
  5. Serve groundnut stew over rice or fufu with your choice of condiments to garnish individual portions (see below).

Groundnut Stew Variations

  • Garnishes: chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, chopped peanuts, sliced tropical fruit like pineapple, bananas, mango or papaya, croutons, hot pepper sauce.
  • Vegetarian Groundnut Stew: Eliminate step one. Add chopped eggplant, sweet potatoes, carrots, cabbage, yams, bell peppers, or winter squash like butternut when you add the water or broth. Cut down on the cooking time to avoid overcooking the vegetables.
  • Dried shrimp and fresh or ground ginger are sometimes sautéed with the onions to flavor the stew. Pieces of dried, smoked fish are likewise often stirred into simmering groundnut stew to give it flavor and boost its nutritional value.
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