Fratelli Perata Winery

Senegalese Mafé—Chicken Peanut Butter Stew

We thank Max and Marilyn for sending this surprising recipe that everyone likes. Serve with 2007 Tre Sorelle and balance the spices. BTW, it really isn’t like a P&J sandwich.This recipe is based on my friend Joseph Dieme’s preparation of this traditional Senegalese stew. The pigeon peas are an added Creole touch, and so are the plantains. This dish is very hearty, exploding with flavors, but not too spicy. The peanut butter is used to thicken the sauce and imparts an unusual, nutty flavor—but do not worry, this chicken will not taste like peanut butter! While it conserves well in the refrigerator for up to five days, I do not recommend freezing it, as it ruins the texture of the potatoes. Serves 6.


6 chicken thighs, skinless
   and 6 chicken legs, skinless
2 large onions, peeled and minced
4 potatoes, medium-sized, peeled and diced
     or 2 green plaintains, peeled and cut into 1 inch slices
1 can pigeon peas, rinsed and drained
     (Look in Mexican or Indian section, common brand is Goya)
5 carrots, peeled and sliced
4 green onions
1 TB fresh parsley, minced, for garnish
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
4 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 can tomato paste
1/2 cup peanut butter (natural)
2 tsp salt
1 TB freshly ground pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
3 springs of parsley

1. Rinse the chicken, pat dry, then salt and pepper. In a large soup pot or sauté pan, heat the olive oil on medium heat and brown the chicken, about 5-10 minutes, turning the pieces to make them color evenly. Stir in the minced onions and the chopped carrots. Cook another 5-10 minutes, until the onions soften.

2. Stir in the tomato paste, then add the chicken stock, potatoes (or the plantain bananas), green onions, bay leaf, thyme sprigs, parsley sprigs, salt and pepper.

3. On high heat, bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer and cook, covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Stir in the peanut butter and the pigeon peas, then cook another 15-20 minutes, until the potatoes (or plantain bananas) can easily be pierced with the tip of a knife.

5. Remove from heat, discard the thyme sprigs, parsley sprigs, green onions, and bay leaf. Add the cayenne pepper, and adjust the seasonings.

6. Serve over jasmine rice, and sprinkle with the minced parsley. Preparation: 25 min. Cooking: 1 hour.