West African Chicken in Peanut Sauce

A savoury chicken recipe from the African continent
found in “The best of International Cooking”
published by Hamlyn in 1984

West African Chicken in Peanut Sauce

West African cuisine encompasses a diverse range of foods that are split between its 16 countries. In West Africa, many families grow and raise their own food, and within each there is a division of labor. Indigenous foods consist of a number of plant species and animals, and are important to those whose lifestyle depends on farming and hunting.

The history of West Africa also plays a large role in their cuisine and recipes, as interactions with different cultures (particularly the Arab world and later Europeans) over the centuries have introduced many ingredients that would go on to become key components of the various national cuisines today.

1 (1,5 kg/3 lb) chicken
salt and pepper
4 bay leaves
3 onions
6 tomatoes
1 (63 g/2 1/4 oz) can tomato purée
250 g/9 oz peanut butter


[1] Cut the chicken into eight  joints, put in a saucepan and cover with water. Add 2 teaspoons of salt and the bay leaves. Bring to the boil and simmer over low heat for 1—1 1/2 hours, until tender.

[2] Peel and chop the onions. Peel and chop the tomatoes and puree them with the onions and tomato puree in a blender.

[3] Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm. Pour off 750 ml /1 1/4 pints of the stock and strain it into a second pan. Add the tomato and onion puree to the stock and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the peanut butter, a tablespoon at the time.

[4] Cover the pan and cook the sauce over a gentle heat for a further 10 minutes. Season the sauce with pepper, and a little salt if liked, then add the chicken. Serve, with boiled long-grain rice.

Serves 4