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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Adventures in Okra: West African Stew


Lately, my CSA has been handing out okra like candy. I've had fried okra before since I lived in North Carolina during grad school, but had never tried to cook it myself. I'm not much of a fryer, so I went online to find something else to do with it, and came across a recipe for West African stew on Epicurious. I love peanut butter in savory dishes, so I thought this would be a winner.

I wasn't disappointed. This was a relatively easy dish, and although I'll be making some changes next time (reflected in the recipe below), there will be a next time. The okra was a little tough, but I think that could be remedied by letting it cook longer. And since okra isn't readily available everywhere or even during all seasons, my husband and I agreed that green beans would be a good substitute.

West African Stew
Adapted from Epicurious

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp salt
1 14-oz can whole tomatoes in juice
1/4 cup water
2 Tbl tomato paste
1/4 cup peanut oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced and mashed with 1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp cayenne pepper (You can go up to 1 1/4 tsp, but we found that 3/4 tsp gave it a nice kick without overpowering the other flavors.)
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter, room temperature
1 3/4 cups chicken broth
Soy Sauce, to taste
1 lb. squash (or sweet potato)
10 oz okra, fresh or frozen, thawed if frozen
Chopped cilantro, for garnish
Brown rice

Arrange the chicken on several plates or a tray and sprinkle with 1 tsp salt. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

While waiting for the chicken, pulse the tomatoes in their juices in a processor or blender until finely chopped. Stir the 1/4 cup of water with the tomato paste in a small bowl until smooth. Whisk together the peanut butter and 1 cup of broth in another bowl until smooth.

Heat the oil in a 6-7-quart heavy-bottomed pot and brown the chicken over a moderately hot flame in batches, a few minutes on each side. Remove the chicken and drain all but 2 tablespoons of oil. Lower the flame to a moderate heat and add the onions to the pot, and cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are golden around the edges, about 2-3 minutes. **At this point you can either leave the chicken breasts whole or cut into several slivers. If serving in a bowl, I suggest the slivers.**

Add the tomato mixture, tomato paste, garlic and cayenne to the onions and mix well. Then add the peanut butter mixture, the remaining 3/4 cup broth, and a couple of splashes of soy sauce and mix. Add the chicken into the sauce. (The chicken may not be covered completely.) Bring to a boil, uncovered, and then reduce the heat and cover. Cook for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is very tender.

**Start cooking your rice now.**

Peel your squash and cut into chunks. Add the squash and okra in the last 10 minutes of cooking and let simmer 10-15 minutes, until the squash is tender, but not falling apart. Remove the okra and cut into thick slices and return to the stew.

Serve over brown rice.


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13 comments:

Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction September 6, 2009 at 3:19 PM  

Yum! I also love peanuts in savory dishes! I wish we had some okra from our CSA, but that doesn't seem to be a veggie that they are farming here. I like it in soups.

My Carolina Kitchen September 8, 2009 at 9:11 AM  

You made the humble little okra look so beautiful. Bravo.
Sam

Chef Fresco September 8, 2009 at 10:00 PM  

I think i've only ever had okra fried. I'd love it this way though!

Chef E September 9, 2009 at 1:39 AM  

I love this recipe! I love it anyway I can get it...and have picked my friends, for which we pickled it, but I could go for this!

Jamie September 9, 2009 at 3:56 AM  

Yay Mindy! I've been thinking about you and was thrilled to see you back! How's the life change?

This is an amazing dish and I love the flavors. I am stepping gingerly into African cooking and this looks perfect! I think I will try this one!

Welcome back, Mindy!

Lori September 10, 2009 at 7:03 AM  

I've never been one for fried okra, but I finally got the chance to try Frango com Quiabo in Brazil. Chicken with okra stew. I loved the flavor of the okra in it. Given the African influences in the northern part of the country I have a feeling these two dishes have similar roots. Looks great!

Laura September 15, 2009 at 2:41 PM  

I have never cooked ocra, gotta try it, I guess .. your recipe sound very well adapted!

Sarah September 15, 2009 at 6:42 PM  

I have actually made this for a friend from chad! It was delicious and I would highly reccomend it to anyone!!

Amany Amany September 10, 2016 at 10:37 AM  

نقدم لكم شركة البيت الافضل شركة نظافة بالرياض, الشركة الاولى فى مجال الخدمات المنزلية بالسعودية بكافة المدن بها سواء بالرياض او الدمام او جدة او مكة او المدينة المنورة ,
حيث تعد الشركة احسن شركة تنظيف منازل بالرياض تقدم اعمال التنظيف المختلفه مثل تنظيف السجاد والموكيت وتنظيف الارضيات
وتتميز شركة البيت الافضل شركة نقل عفش بالرياض بتقديمها لخدمة نقل عفش بالرياض بالاعتماد على اكفأ العمال البشرية المتخصصه فى فك وتركيب الاثاث بالرياض , كما تقدم الشركة خدمة تخزين الاثاث بالرياض فى افضل مستودعات التخزين ولفترات كبيرة جدا مع العمل شركة تخزين اثاث بالرياض تقدم خدمة تغليف الاثاث بالرياض وتنظيفه وتعبئته على ايدى افضل الايادى العامله بالرياض
تعد افضل شركة مكافحة حشرات بالرياض
من افضل شركات رش المبيدات الحشرية بالرياض , فشركة البيت الافضل تقدم تعد افضل شركة رش مبيدات بالرياض وتستخدم اعلى المبيدات الحشرية من حيث الجودة والتى تحقق افضل نتائج لرش الدفان بالرياض
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
كما تعد البيت الافضل افضل افضل شركة تنظيف خزانات بالرياض تحافظ على مياه الخزانات وتخلصها من الرواسب والبكتيريا والطحالب الموجوده بقاع الخزانات
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالرياض
تقدم الشركة خدماتكشف تسربات المياه بالرياض من خلال الاعتماد على احدث اجهزة كشف تسربات المياه بدون تكسير والتى تساعد على تحديد مكان التسربات بدقة ,
كل هذه الخدمات الشامله تقدم فقط من خلال شركة البيت الافضل كأفضل شركة خدمات منزلية بالرياض وبأرخص الاسعار والتكاليف التى تبحثون عنها , فضلا عن ان الشركة تقدم المزيد من العروض والتخفيضات والخصومات المذهله والشامله على كل العملاء الجدد والمميزن , فبادرو بالاتصال بنا من اى مكان بالسعودية واحيائها المختلفة لتجدونا لديكم فى الحال

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