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The Groundnut Stew

by Duval Timothy, Folayemi Brown and Jacob Fodio Todd from The Groundnut Cookbook

This delicious West African recipe is the perfect main course for serving a crowd. Made with chicken, Scotch bonnet peppers and either groundnut or peanut butter, it's a satisfying combination of sweet, savoury and spicy.

From the book

Duval Timothy, Folayemi Brown and Jacob Fodio Todd


The Groundnut will always hold a special significance. It was the dish we chose to serve at our first
event because it never seems to fail to impress people, and it is the dish that kindly lent us its name.

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1 chicken, skinned and chopped into 8 pieces
2 tsp salt
½ tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp white pepper
5 tbsp groundnut oil
1 Scotch bonnet pepper
4 small onions
3 cloves of garlic
2 heaped tbsp tomato purée
125g homemade groundnut butter, or smooth peanut butter
500ml chicken stock

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Place the chicken pieces into a large bowl, add the salt, black pepper and white pepper, and mix well.

In a wide frying pan, fry the chicken with 3 tablespoons of olive oil on a medium heat. The chicken should not overlap, as this will prevent it from browning. If you are using a small pan, fry the chicken in batches.

Pierce the Scotch bonnet pepper with a sharp knife and add it to the pan. Piercing the pepper means that as the stew develops it absorbs the flavour of the pepper, but if it becomes too spicy it can be removed at any point.

Shake the pan regularly so that the chicken does not stick. Turn over after 5 minutes. While the chicken is browning, finely dice the onions and crush the garlic to a paste. Keep separate and put to one side.

After 5 minutes, add half the garlic to the pan and fry for a further 5 minutes, so that the garlic and chicken brown together. When given room in the pan, garlic caramelizes very quickly – this gives a lovely rich flavour and texture which attaches itself to the chicken. When the chicken has browned nicely on both sides, remove it from the pan and put to one side.

Using the same pan, slightly increase the heat to medium-high and add the diced onions and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook the onions for 12 minutes, stirring regularly. When they are very soft and dark, turn the heat down to medium and add the tomato purée and the remaining garlic. Mix well and cook for 5 minutes, then add the groundnut butter and stir. 

Put the browned chicken back into the pan and add the stock slowly while stirring, so that it is incorporated with the sauce. Leave to cook on a low heat for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. It should reduce slightly and take on a thicker consistency. Serve hot.

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