Paris is a maze of many cultures and many of those cultures come from West Africa. Walking through the lively streets of Bellevue, you may begin to wonder if you took a left turn and ended up Brazzaville. Mafe Poulet can be found on just about any menu in any West African restaurant in the city, like Paris Dakar or Ile de Gorée and its variations are as plentiful as the chefs that make it. It’s a hearty African dish that is both earthy and sensuous at the same time, and simple to make.
West African Chicken with Peanut Sauce/Stew
1 Chicken(or equal amount of parts de-skinned)
2 large yellow onions
4-5 fresh big round tomatoes
1-3 Tbs. peanut butter
1-2 jalapeno or a pinch of crushed red pepper
A big stew pot
A cutting board
A good knife
A big spoon for stirring the pot!
Cut the chicken into parts, de-skin. Slice the 2 onions on the ring. Cut the tomatoes on the quarter. Finely chop the jalapeno pepper, or get red pepper flakes (to your taste).
Sear the chicken by putting it in a soup pot with no oil, turning when it turns white.
Add the onions to the pot after both sides of the chicken have been seared.
When the onions are clear, add the tomatoes to the pot.
Cover and simner.
When the tomatoes have released all of their liquid and the chicken is cooked through, add the peanutbutter one tablespoon at a time to taste. If the tomatoes did not release much liquid, add a little water or chicken broth.
Add the chopped pepper.
Cook until flavors are blended.
Serve over rice.
To make a smaller version of this dish use (pictured above): 1-2 chicken breasts (sliced), 1 yellow onion, 2 large tomatoes (Heirloom are yummy if you can get them), half a jalapeno, one clove garlic. This makes enough for two people. Leave out the chicken for a vegetarian sauce over rice.
Country of Origin: West Africa (Senegal to The Congo)
Sauté the chicken in peanut oil.
Add a clove or two of chopped garlic.
Add coconut milk at the same time as the peanutbutter.
Make a vegetarian version by leaving out the chicken. Just sauté the onions in peanut oil, add the tomatoes and follow the directions from there.
This dish is really great when made with organic ingredients.