My slow cooker was one of the first things I purchased after I began my “adult life” (i.e. started living on my own post-college). I got it from Kmart which is a discount department store here in the United States and even though the knob is slightly chipped and it’s one without “bells and whistles” (the choices are either high cooking temperature or low cooking temperature), it’s still going strong. While I wouldn’t mind a newer/fancier one, I’m somewhat fearful to replace my existing one as so many appliances today don’t have the longevity that the older and plainer ones do.
Slow cooker meals are one of my favorite ways to cook food (possibly my absolute favorite). Throw all the ingredients in the pot, stir them up, plug it in, set the temperature, and voila. Come back in x number of hours and your food is all ready to be eaten. And lest people think that you can’t cook ethnic fare in a slow cooker, that it’s only good for dishes like chicken and dumplings or chili, think again. My Great Tastes One Pot Cookbook has a whole chapter in it on mainly ethnic recipes that you can prepare in a slow cooker. I ultimately settled on an African inspired stew in which peanut butter serves as the ingredient that gives it an extremely unique and delicious taste. While I love peanut butter, I had never really cared for it in savory foods; however, this is a taste that has grown on me in recent years. If you’re leery over the idea of putting peanut butter into your dinner course, don’t worry, it’s not at all an overpowering taste. It really meshes well with the other ingredients.
Note: For two people I was able to get two dinner meals out of it. I would recommend serving this over rice or plain egg noodles. Enjoy!
Slow Cooker African-Style Chicken and Peanut Stew
recipe adapted from Great Tastes One Pot cookbook
3 lbs. boneless & skinless chicken breasts
3 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 red or green chili, seeded and finely chopped
1 lb 2 oz. yams cut into 1 inch cubes
14 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1/2 cup ketchup
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons crunchy or smooth peanut butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
5 1/2 ounces coconut milk
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
-Cut the chicken into 1 inch cubes. Put the chicken in a large bowl and sprinkle over the curry powder, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss well to coat the chicken.
-Add the onion, carrot, bell pepper, garlic, chili, yam, tomato, ketchup, and bay leaves to the chicken. Transfer the chicken and vegetables to the slow cooker. Cook on high for 4-6 hours, or until the chicken and vegetables are tender and cooked through.
-Meanwhile combine the peanut butter, lemon juice, and coconut milk in a small bowl. During the last 30 minutes of cooking, add the peanut butter mixture to the slow cooker and stir to combine the ingredients. Add the peas and cook for 5 minutes, or until tender.